Town Justice candidate Chris Kraft on Tuesday decisively defeated incumbent Will Myers 4,770-3,002, according to unofficial results, to fill the remaining three years of the late Judge Dan Lamb’s four-year term.
“Dan was a very fair, even-keeled guy, much like myself,” said Kraft, who knew Lamb for over 30 years and was endorsed in the race by Lamb’s three sons. “He commanded his court system well, commanded a lot of respect and ran his courtroom very well. He was very fair, very even-keeled, very professional — all of which certainly applies to me.”
Kraft, 56, is a graduate of Saugerties High School. He has practiced privately as a personal injury attorney in the community for the last 29 years at Dallvechia & Kraft, P.C. A coach of the Saugerties High junior varsity hockey team, Kraft on Tuesday oversaw practice before heading over to Sue’s Restaurant to watch election results roll in. He attributes his win to his committee members, especially his campaign manager Edward Montano, his numerous party lines on the ballot and his presence in the community. He said he aims to bring “fair and balanced judging” to the bench and to “run an efficient court system.”
Kraft appeared on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence lines; Myers appeared only on the Republican line.
“The main thing is I appreciate the support, that folks came out and made time to vote to make a change — that’s good,” said the judge-to-be.
Myers, an assistant public defender who was appointed to replace Lamb until the midterm election, will retain the judicial position until Jan. 1. Before attending a watch party at Ecce Terra in Kingston last night, Myers presided over an arraignment.
“I am happy for Chris Kraft,” said Myers in a written statement to the Saugerties Times. “Anyone who wants to be the town judge places the community before his own self-interests. You are a judge 24 hours a day. You are the one who gets called in the middle of the night to attend court. I know how much I have enjoyed the challenge of administering justice. The challenge of making the right decisions, to be fair, to make sure everyone is performing their role, is an enjoyable challenge. I really cannot thank the town board enough for entrusting me with the role of town justice this year. Like any volunteer, you eventually get replaced. I hope Mr. Kraft enjoys it as much as I have.”