The Ontario County Republican Committee recently endorsed candidates for Ontario County Judge, Sheriff, Treasurer and Coroner and Governor, State Senate and State Assembly.
Trisha Turner, chair of the county committee, praised the committee members for meeting with and questioning candidates for several months. “These committee members are volunteers who care deeply about their communities and take the endorsement process seriously,” said Turner. “County candidates have been vetted for the past few months meeting with 18 town and city committees, the county executive committee and the full committee several times. Many of the committee members heard candidates’ presentations four to five times.”
The interest in the endorsement meeting was very high this year, with 162 of the 169 existing county committee members voting at the Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua. “In fact,” said Turner, “we had to move the wall partition in the Inn on the Lake banquet room because of the overcrowding that evening.”
Turner explained that gaining the county committee’s endorsement is difficult because a candidate must receive two-thirds of the weighted vote. Many counties, she said, only require a simple majority. Some years, candidates do not seek endorsement because they believe they cannot get a two-thirds majority.
This year, candidates for Ontario County Judge and Ontario County Sheriff sought the county committee’s endorsement and the result was the endorsement of Kitty Karle for judge with a 77.3 percent majority and Silvio Palermo for sheriff with 75.1 percent.
Karle, an attorney and former assistant district attorney in Monroe County, is seeking the county court seat that will become vacant with the retirement of Judge William Kocher at the end of this year. Palermo is a sergeant in the Gates Police Department and a former Victor Town Board member. Sheriff Phil Povero is retiring at the end of 2018. “I stand behind the committee’s endorsement decisions and am extremely proud of the committee’s dedication and commitment to an open and transparent process while supporting highly qualified candidates,” said Turner.
Also endorsed were:
– Marc Molinaro for Governor. Molinaro, who recently officially entered the race for governor, is the Dutchess County Executive and a former state assemblyman.
– Brian Kolb for State Assemblyman from the 131st District. Kolb has been a leader in state government since 2009 when his colleagues elected him Assembly Minority Leader. He was first elected to the Assembly in 2000.
– Pam Helming for State Senate from the 54th District, which includes the cities of Geneva and Canandaigua and the Towns of Canandaigua, Farmington, Geneva, Gorham, Hopewell, Manchester, Phelps and Seneca. Helming, a former Canandaigua Town Supervisor, was first elected to the State Senate in 2016 and is running for re-election.
– Rich Funke for State Senate from the 55th District, which includes the Ontario County Towns of Bristol, Canadice, East Bloomfield, Naples, Richmond, South Bristol, Victor and West Bloomfield. Funke, a former television news anchor, was first elected State Senator in 2014 and was re-elected in 2016.
– Gary Baxter for Ontario County Treasurer. Baxter, a former Geneva City Councilor and retired Geneva police officer, began serving as treasurer in 2005 when he was appointed to the position by Gov. George Pataki to complete an unexpired term. After his first election win in 2006, he was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
– Dr. Jeffrey Long and Scott “Scooter” Avedisian for Ontario County Coroner. Dr. Long has been a coroner since 1990. Avedisian recently retired from the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department.