Livingston County News | Primary is Tuesday for county judge, senate races - Jean Pierre Bansard Commercial Real Estate Development Firm.
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Livingston County News | Primary is Tuesday for county judge, senate races

Livingston County News | Primary is Tuesday for county judge, senate races

All five candidates for Livingston County Court judge are included in at least one primary election on Tuesday.

Voters across Livingston County who are registered with the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties will be eligible to vote in the judge primary. Republicans in eight Livingston County towns will also have a say in the primary for the 57th Senate District seat.

There is no Democrat Primary.

Voters must be an enrolled member in the party having the primary in order to vote.

Polling hours for the primary election are shorter than hours for general election. Primary election voting is scheduled from noon to 9 p.m.

Through the primaries voters will chose their party’s candidates for the November general election.

There are five candidates for two Livingston County Court judgeships. The county court judgeships will become vacant at the end of the year because of a mandate in the state constitution that requires judges to retire on the last day of December in the year in which they turn 70 years old. Current Livingston County Court Judges Robert Wiggins and Dennis Cohen both turn 70 in 2019.

The Republican Party primary for county court judge includes Jeannie D. Michalski, Jennifer Noto and Kevin G. Van Allen.

The Conservative Party primary for county court judge features Margaret Graf Linsner, Michalski, Noto, and Van Allen.

The Independence Party primary for county court judge has all five candidates. They are Justin M. Hill, Linsner, Michalski, Noto and Van Allen.

The Republican primary for the 57th Senate District is between Chautauqua County Executive George M. Borrello and Allegany County Legislature Chairman Curtis M. Crandall, who are seeking to fill Catharine Young’s state senate seat. Young resigned earlier this year to take a post at Cornell University. The 57th Senate District primary will include the Livingston County towns of Conesus, Livonia, Mount Morris, North Dansville, Nunda, Ossian, Sparta; and Springwater.

The general election is Nov. 5.

Judicial Candidates

A capsule look at the judicial candidates, in alphabetical order:

Justin M. Hill

Independence Party primary.

Hill, a prosecutor with the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office, has served as an assistant district attorney in Livingston, Erie and Monroe counties, handling both misdemeanor and felony cases.

He has served as a prosecutor in the Major Felony Bureau, Felony DWI Bureau, the County Court Bureau, and the Local Justice Court Bureau. As an Assistant District Attorney in Livingston County, Hill has prosecuted domestic abuse and child predator cases.

His experience also includes serving as a criminal defense attorney at the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office and as a judicial law clerk to the Monroe County Court Judge Frank Geraci.

Hill attended Aquinas Institute, John Carroll University, and Syracuse University College of Law.

Hill received one of two county judge nominations from the Livingston County Democratic Committee.

Hill lives in Avon with his wife Kate and their four children.

Margaret Graf Linsner

Conservative and Independence primaries.

Linsner is a life-long resident of Livonia where she is is a practicing attorney and town justice.

Linsner received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a teaching certificate from LeMoyne College. After teaching school for three years, she went on to earn a law degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., in 1991. After graduation, she moved home and became an associate with the Moran and Lawrence law firm. When Tom Moran became Livingston County District Attorney in 1995, Linsner opened a firm with her brother-in-law, Steve Sessler. Since 2008, she has operated her own firm specializing in real estate, divorce, litigation, family court and wills and estates.

In 2016, she staged a successful write-in campaign for town justice, where she oversees criminal and civil matters.

Linsner received one of two county judge nominations from the Livingston County Democratic Committee.

Linsner is a long-term member of Livingston County 4-H, including 13 years as a leader, and a Hemlock Fair judge. She is a volunteer for Teresa House, Catholic Charities, Livonia Public Library, and other organizations.

Linsner and her husband, Sam have been married for over 26 years and reside in Livonia.

Jeannie D. Michalski

Republican, Conservative and Independence primaries.

Michalski touted her 20 years of experience as a prosecutor, defense and family attorney, and town justice in announcing her candidacy for county court judge.

Michalski spent the first seven years of her legal career as an assistant district attorney in Monroe County handling misdemeanors in city and town courts before going on to prosecute felony cases in county and supreme court.

She entered private practice about 13 years ago, handling both criminal and family law cases.

Michalski also worked part-time at the Livingston County Public Defender’s Office representing indigent clients in family court cases involving domestic violence, child custody, support, visitation, neglect and abuse.

In 2017, Michalski – who had been an Avon Town Board member for two years – was elected to a four-year term as Avon town justice. She ran unopposed on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines.

Michalski, an East Avon resident and single mother to two children, maintains her private law practice in Avon.

She is president of the board of directors of Chances and Changes Inc., a non-profit in Livingston County that helps domestic violence victims.

Jennifer Noto

Republican, Conservative and Independence primaries.

Noto, a former federal prosecutor, brings more than 13 years of criminal justice experience with her candidacy.

Noto has been an assistant district attorney in Livingston County under then-District Attorney Thomas Moran, who now serves as a state Supreme Court Justice in New York’s 7th Judicial District.

Noto was later appointed an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York. She was assigned to the narcotics and organized crime unit and directed large-scale investigations with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

For the past two years, Noto has been the senior social services attorney for the Livingston County Department of Social Services. She serves as counsel to DSS and its commissioner on all legal matters, including child neglect and abuse cases and financial fraud investigations.

Noto is secretary of the Chances and Changes board of directors.

Noto has received one of two nomiations each from Livingston County’s Conservative and Republican committees.

Noto lives in Geneseo with her husband, Cory, and their son.

Kevin G. Van Allen

Republican, Conservative and Independence primaries.

Van Allen, a Geneseo attorney, began his career as a paralegal at the Presutti Law Office, P.C., Geneseo in 1998.

In 2007, Van Allen was admitted to the bar and began practicing as a lawyer. He is a founding partner of Cannon & Van Allen, LLP, now Van Allen & Hoffmann.

Van Allen has handled commercial and civil matters, Surrogate’s Court cases, matrimonial cases, misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses and Family Court matters.

He is past president of the Livingston County Bar Association, and a member of the New York State Bar.

He is a founding member of the charitable organization Lifting Up Livingston, Inc., and has been involved in the United Way of Livingston County annual campaign and Livingston County Sheriff’s Foundation.

Van Allen previously sought the judgeship in 2015, but withdrew before the primaries after Wiggins and Cohen were cross endorsed by the county’s Republican and Conservative committees. This time, he has received one of two nominations each from the Republican and Conservative committees.

Van Allen received his bachelor’s degree from St. John Fisher College and his juris doctor degree from the state University at Buffalo Law School.

Van Allen lives in Avon with his wife, Kara, and their four daughters.


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