Election 2014: The Race Is On

With Election Day looming, Sept. 9 will be another day to mark on the political calendar for Chautauqua County.

Candidates were officially announced Tuesday by the state Board of Elections, with several local names vying for office prior to the general election.

After the state approved a second Family Court judgeship for Chautauqua County in June, local attorneys began announcing their candidacies throughout July.

Sally A. Jaroszynksi, James J. Spann, Jeffrey A. Piazza and Michael J. Sullivan are the official candidates for election.

Jaroszynski and Spann are running on the Democratic Party line, while Piazza and Sullivan are running for the Republican candidacy.

Piazza, Spann and Sullivan are also running on Conservative and Independence party lines, while Spann and Sullivan are both Green and Working Families Party challengers.

Typically, Chautauqua County’s Family Court caseload is around 4,000 cases per year, but last year grew to approximately 9,000 cases. The increase resulted in a family court judge from Erie County having to help with the caseload in Chautauqua County two days per week.

All candidates have expressed their qualifications to fill the 10-year term.

Sullivan and Spann are from Fredonia and Westfield, respectively, while Piazza and Jaroszynski are from Kiantone and Falconer.

Jaroszynski is currently a second-term town justice in the town of Ellicott, and was elected in November. She began practicing law in 1993 and has received Congressional recognition for her work in providing civil legal services to low-income Chautauqua County clients.

Sullivan has practiced law in New York since 1985 and has maintained his law office at 7 E. Main St. in Fredonia since 1991.

Piazza is a Jamestown attorney who has represented children and families in Family Court since his admission to the New York State Bar in 1993.

Spann has operated a private practice in Dunkirk since his admission to the New York State Bar in 1985, with additional admissions to practice in Washington, D.C., the U.S. District Court and the Western District of New York. His primary area of practice has been in family and matrimonial law.

In other primary elections, two Democratic primary candidates were announced for the gubernatorial race against incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

Zephyr R. Teachout, associate professor of law at Fordham University, and Randy A. Credico are Cuomo’s opposition.

Credico ran as a Democratic primary challenger against Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2010, and for mayor of New York City in the 2013 election.

For the lieutenant governor primary, Timothy Wu, Teachout’s running mate and a professor at Columbia Law School, is seeking the Democratic nomination against Buffalo native Kathy C. Hochul, Cuomo’s running mate.

The last primary ballot announced on Tuesday was Beth Kresge and Elisabeth Rankin running on the Independence Party line for the County Legislature’s District 12 seat, currently held by Democrat Beth Kresge.

All polls will be open on Sept. 9 from noon-9 p.m.