Retirements leave room for new faces in local races for District Judge. Jackie Roberts spoke to candidates about what they bring to the table.
The race heats up for District Judge in the Erie 6th Ward and West Millcreek. Candidates say both communities are ready for fresh leadership on the bench. With just a few days left until the election, Tim Beveridge is making every minute count. He’s going door to door trying to win votes in the race for Erie’s 6th Ward District Judge as both the Democratic and Republican nominee.
Beveridge tells us, “We can’t just give them a sentence: yes or no, or guilty or not guilty; we’ve gotta give them the opportunity to improve themselves and better themselves and I think I can give them that opportunity”. He says his 25 years as a police officer and his experience working with kids as a coach make him a good fit to fill Justice Dominick DiPaolo’s shoes.
But, he’s not the only one knocking on doors. Jerry Villella is doing the same, running as an Independent. He says his 37 years as an attorney prepare him to take on the role as district judge. “I’m putting my long experience and my high amount of experience for the public. I really want to do this and improve the quality of the district justice contingent.”
Also up for grabs, Justice Paul Manzi’s district judge position in Millcreek. One of those candidates? Republican Les Fetterman, saying, “Everything I’ve done, a district judge deals with. Only as a police officer, you get it from the beginning, you determine if there’s enough facts in the case and where it’s gonna lead you and you follow through all the way to the outcome.” Fetterman says his experience in the community and his passion for Millcreek are the perfect combination for district judge.”
Democratic Nominee, Laurie Mikielski, tells us as a mother, wife and attorney; she’s ready to take on the responsibility. Mikielski tells us, “I’ve always loved serving the public. As a prosecutor to serve the public, as a public defender you serve the public and this is something that really excites me now for the position of district judge.” Mikielski says she hopes to continue Judge Manzi’s classroom initiative if elected.
There are several contested races for District Judge across Erie county:
(D) Thomas Carney vs. (D) Thomas Carlotti
(D/R) Timothy Beveridge vs. (I) Jerry Villella
(D) Brenda Williams Nichols vs. (R) Denise Buell
(D) Laurie Mikielski vs. (R) Les Fetterman
(D) Lisa Ferrick vs. (R) Noble Brown
The candidates we spoke to say they’re encouraging everyone to get out and vote next Tuesday.