One correction to the post below - it doesn't matter if Ceresia the elder applies for a two year extension to the state's mandated retirement age or not. There will still be an election for his seat and that means there will be two robes doing the work one used to. It's no wonder the state is broke.
There seems to be a battle brewing
to see who gets the Democratic Party nomination to replace the retiring George
Ceresia on the Supreme Court between Ceresia’s son, Rensselaer County Court
Judge Andrew Ceresia and District Attorney Richard McNally.
While neither has officially
announced, Albany County Family Court Judge W. Dennis Duggan has said he will
not look for a third term on that bench and instead run for Supreme Court.
But, the elder Ceresia’s seat has
been in Rensselaer County since at least 1994 when he was elected and obviously
he would rather see his son take his spot. He did abruptly resign as the
administrative judge in the Third Judicial District last month under what some
say are mysterious circumstances and what others say was a way to hold onto
dignity rather than get replaced. Either way, I don’t know how much that helps
his son ascend to a higher court.
While Rensselaer County Chair Tom
Wade was noncommittal when asked recently by a reporter who he would support, the
the way judges are picked means he will pretty much unilaterally make the call
and I hear he is backing McNally.
Judges of the same party don’t run
a primary. Rather, the delegates put on designating petitions circulated by the
party faithful go to a Judicial Nominating Convention in September and just
pick one. I suppose there could be a primary battle for the delegates but in my
memory it hasn’t happened. Honestly, not a bunch of people care who becomes a
Supreme Court judge because the Third Judicial District covers seven counties
so it’s a tough, expensive race to run and it may afford workers a few jobs but
not many. That’s why the two major parties swapped cross endorsements for years
but that tradition, to Wade’s credit, is now by the wayside and there are
actually contested elections where the voters get a choice.
The way the district is split up,
Albany County carries the most weighted vote at the convention but if
Rensselaer County … i.e. Wade … can get the support of one or two of the others
counties I’m betting the next Democratic candidate for Supreme Court judge is
McNally. If you remember, Rensselaer County … i.e. Wade … went for Steven
Schick of Ulster County and Richard Mott of Columbia County – two Democrats who
took out two Republican incumbent Supreme Court judges Bud Malone of Albany
County and E. Michael Kavanagh of Ulster County so he might be owed a return
The Third Judicial District
includes Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster
counties and it only takes two or three – depending on the configuration – to get
that county’s guy the nomination.
I have not reached out to Ceresia
but just about every lawyer wants to be a judge and just about every judge
wants a higher bench to sit on. I did reach out to McNally and he said he is “interested.”
Or, the elder Ceresia could just
ask for an extension past the mandatory retirement age for judges in this state
of 70 and could throw a monkey wrench into everyone’s plans, whatever those
As of now, I've heard of no Republicans interested in running.
Labels: Ceresia Jr., Ceresia Sr., mcnally