Anthony Brindisi’s run for State Supreme Court

State Supreme Court candidate Anthony Brindisi. Photo provided.

OSWEGO COUNTY – Congress is one thing, and court is another. But 42-year-old former Congressman Anthony Brindisi is confident his years as an attorney, his three terms in the State Assembly, and his time in the House of Representatives will provide voters with a combined experience worthy of a seat on the Fifth Judicial District’s bench as the Democratic candidate for State Supreme Court justice in his November race against Republican Danielle Fogel.

That district takes in Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, Herkimer, Oneida and Onondaga counties, a huge territory to cover, but one not that far removed from the one he represented in Congress.

“There’s a lot of overlap between my previous congressional district and there’s some new areas as well,” Brindisi said in a recent interview. “In the Fifth Judicial you have Jefferson County, Lewis County, and Onondaga County, which were not part of my congressional district.”

And whereas only the eastern portion of Oswego County was in his congressional district, the entire county is in the Fifth Judicial District.

“I’m certainly not opposed to traveling around to help clear backlogs wherever they might exist,” he said.

On the differences between this campaign (of which he said, “So far, so good”) and those he ran as a legislative or congressional candidate, Brindisi noted, “As a judicial candidate, you really can’t discuss issues like you could as a candidate running for the Legislature.”

Regarding his experience, Brindisi said, “I’ve been a practicing attorney since 2004. I’ve handled cases in both state and federal courts. I’ve handled all aspects of civil litigation in State Supreme Court, including real estate matters, employment law, issues, contract disputes. I’ve handled serious personal injury matters. I’ve done Article 78s. I’ve done labor law cases. I’ve handled appeals in the Appellate Courts. I’ve tried cases in State Supreme Court, as well as Federal court.”

Over the course of his experience, he has formulated his opinion of what makes for a good judge.

“I’ve appeared in front of all kinds of judges across the state,” he said, “and as a practicing attorney, what you hope for most from a judge is that that person is going to be a good listener and treat each side equally. Even when you disagree with the judge, if you feel you’ve been heard, and the judge applied the law, even if it doesn’t go in your direction, you still feel a sense of fairness from that judge.

“I pride myself on being a very good listener, and good judicial temperament is the hallmark of a good judge. Many of the qualities I displayed as a Representative, are the basic qualities of a good judge. I have a track record of bringing opposing parties together, listening to differing opinions, negotiating and ultimately working to compromise on matters as a public servant, and many of those skills that I possess translate to the judiciary because a judge can play an active role in helping to facilitate settlement negotiations in cases.”

The Sienna College and Albany Law School graduate has received quite a few endorsements including a number of labor unions.

“It’s humbling to me,” Brindisi said, “to have the support of so many men and women of organized labor including the CWA (Communications Workers of America), the Laborers union, the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), the UFCW (the United Food and Commercial Workers), the building and construction trades, and the New York State Professional Firefighters.”

And lastly, Brindisi stressed the depth of experience he would bring to the position.

“I think when voting for a judge,” he said, “it’s the right mix of experience that counts, and I have a broad range of professional experiences that will translate into a courtroom that serves all walks of life. I’ve taken the steps to gather that experience in the courtroom and as a public servant in the state legislature and in the House of Representatives.”

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