Race to the Bench in Chenango Co.

By Matt Markham

March 15, 2012 Updated Mar 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM EDT

Norwich, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A new judge will take to the bench in Chenango County for the first time in over a decade.

Whoever is elected will replace retiring judge Howard Sullivan.

Both these candidates are also running on the Republican ticket and have strong ties to Chenango County.

Both are hoping a Presidential election brings more voters to the polls this year.

Chenango County is one of thirty-eight in the state where the judge presides over Surrogates, Family, and County Court.

"Not a week goes by where I'm not in all three of those courts," said Norwich attorney Frank Revoir began his legal career as a clerk in that court.

"I'm ready to put that twenty-one years of experience to work for the people of Chenango County," Revoir said.

"The most important thing is experience in this race," said Revoir's opponent Joseph McBride. McBride has served as Chenango County's District Attorney since 1999.

Considering not all court matters go before a jury, McBride says, for a judge, "you have to make immediate decisions on rulings in court. In twenty eight years of trial experience, my experience in the DA's office and private practice, that gives me the experience to make those decisions."

McBride boasts a 99% conviction rate for 2011 and a career of prosecuting 1,500 felonies.

"I have tried over 65 jury trials myself," McBride said. "I think that's a conservative estimate."

The DA is also involved with several community organizations.

His opponent says community is at the heart of the voters' decision.

"You can have a lot of experience, but that doesn't mean you're the right temperament for the job," Revoir said. "If I were to stand before a judge, who would I want to be standing before? Who do I feel would be the most honest, open-minded?"

Whoever is elected judge will serve on a ten-year term beginning on January 1.

If McBride is elected, the assistant DA will serve as acting district attorney before a special election.