Yates County District Attorney candidates Valerie Gardner and Todd Casella addressed questions from Yates County voters who attended a meet the candidates forum hosted by Yates County SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education) Oct. 12 at the Penn Yan Elks Lodge.
Both candidates spoke about their support for Second Amendment rights, their personal pistol permits, and rating by the SCOPE organization. While some questions touched on gun rights issues, most questions from the audience centered on their experience in the courtroom, and their priorities for prosecution.
With courtroom battles over nominating ballots behind them, the two squared off over conviction statistics and their approaches to prosecution. Neither missed an opportunity to challenge previous claims made by the other.
Gardner, the incumbent, whose name will appear on the Republican, Conservative, and Women’s Equality Party lines, said the job of Yates County District Attorney requires very specific skills, especially having an understanding and knowledge of the local community. “We’re families and we’re connected,” she said, noting that her experience in the county means she’s also familiar with the criminal element.