CORTLAND, N.Y. — Cortland City Court Judge Elizabeth Burns was selected as the Democratic party nominee for New York State Supreme Court Judge during the Democratic Judicial Convention in Binghamton Saturday, according to Tompkins County Democratic Committee member Robert Lynch, who attended the convention.
Judge Burns was one of three women seeking the Democratic nomination. She garnered 29 of the 40 cotes cast by Democratic delegates, while Madison County State Supreme Court Clerk and former Assistant District Attorney Melissa Stearns came in second place with eight votes. Chenango County law clerk and Butternuts Town Justice Claudette Newman registered three votes.
The Sixth Judicial District is made up of ten different counties, including Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.
Judge Burns will face Republican Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride in the November election.
Prior to the vote, each of the three judicial candidates was accorded ten minutes to address the delegates. In her remarks, Judge Burns focused upon her judicial experience and distinguished her role from that of her law clerk competitors.
“Being a law clerk is not the same as being a judge,” Judge Burns said. “My law clerk does not make decisions for me."
Judge Burns described her experience as “broad and diverse.” She maintained that she was “the most qualified candidate” of the three women running. She also alluded to the fact that State Supreme Court decisions are generally subject to appeal while emphasizing that it’s “important we get it right the first time.”
Judge Burns acknowledged that Republicans hold an electoral majority in the district. In remarks following her nomination, Judge Burns predicted that “it will be a difficult race.”
“I hope all of you will help me,” Burns told the delegates.