Meet the candidates in the Tioga DA Republican Primary

By Matt Porter

Meet the candidates in the Tioga DA Republican Primary

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 6, 2013 at 7:22 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) There's more than 30 years experience combined among the three Republican candidates for Tioga County District Attorney.

And all three have at one time worked together as assistant district attorneys.

Irene Graven took over as acting district attorney after voters elected Republican Gerald Keene judge.

She has 14 years of experience in the office serving as an assistant district attorney.

In her door-to-door conversations, she said the voters are very familiar with the race.

"The voters of this county are very engaged and they're very interested in community safety," Graven said.

As a member of the Domestic Violence Response Team in Tioga County, Graven said pursuing more cases for domestic violence victims is one of her top priorities.

"We are developing policies on high risk cases to make sure those victims of domestic violence get the services they need," she said.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Schumacher also believes in pursuing more domestic violence cases.

He's been in the DA's office for 13 years.

Schumacher wants to be more aggressive in prosecuting drug crimes, something all three candidates have called for.

"Bath salts, methamphetamine, I see that everyday," Schumacher said. "That would be the number one thing on my list."

Former assistant District Attorney Kirk Martin said more needs to be done to fight elder abuse.

"The seniors and elders of Tioga County are the people that have built Tioga County," Martin said. "They're the ones that have laid the foundation for it, and they deserve to be protected in their more vulnerable years."

Martin's reputation was challenged when he resigned from the DA's office after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while ability impaired in 2006.

"I admitted to the court it was wrong and I paid my dues. It was a very humbling experience," Martin said. "To be honest it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It brought me to a closer relationship with God, and I haven't had a drink since."

Martin said his support from the Tioga County Sheriff and Tioga Law Enforcement Association show he's best qualified for the job.

"I think I have the support of the people who know what it takes to be DA and what it takes to do the job well,"

The three candidates will be on the ballot Tuesday, Sept. 10, where the winner will face Democrat Fred Luther in November.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of alcohol-related offenses for which Kirk Martin was arrested. Kirk Martin was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired in 2006.

Martin resigned from office, and said this about the incident: "I admitted to the court it was wrong and I paid my dues. It was a very humbling experience. and to be honest it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It brought me to a closer relationship with God, and I haven't had a drink since."

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