Voters hear from judge, sheriff candidates in Ontario County

About 30 people came to The Phelps Hotel Monday night to learn about the candidates for Ontario County judge and sheriff.

Organizer Al Cauwels led off the event, hosted by the Phelps Community Historical Society, by urging people to sign a petition for a candidate in each race, as each candidate needs a minimum of 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot. The deadline to submit petitions is July 11.

Participating in the event were the three vying for sheriff: Republicans Bob Green and Silvio Palermo, and Democrat Kevin Henderson. Two Republicans are vying for the Ontario County judge seat, Kristina”Kitty” Karle and Russ Kenyon. Kenyon was absent Monday. Cauwels said Kenyon sent word he had a scheduling conflict and no staff member available able to represent him.

A Republican primary Sept. 13 will determine who runs on the Republican line in November for the judge and sheriff seats.

Karle talked about her experience as an attorney for more than 20 years working on both sides of the aisle with time as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. She talked about equality in the courtroom and the mission of upholding to the law, and pledged to always be honest and fair. She noted Ontario County has never had a female judge and said she would be thrilled to be the first, though she added that no one should vote for her simply because she is a woman.

Questions from the audience included one about her views on immigration. Karle said as a judge candidate it is not appropriate to discuss her views. She emphasized her role as judge would be to uphold the law. She was also pressed about whether her personal political or religious views would influence her as judge. She said they would not.

Karle is a Christian and is a member of the National Rifle Association and SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education).

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