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Bonarigo kicks off City Court campaign, promises to be impartial, fair judge

By Howard B. Owens


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Contested elections for judicial seats are rare but voters in the City of Batavia are faced with one in 2019.

Durin Rogers and Ben Bonarigo are vying for the full-time City Court judge position, which becomes open next year because of the mandatory retirement of Judge Robert Balbick.

Saturday morning, Bonarigo officially kicked off his campaign in front of about 200 supporters at City Church's Generation Center on Center Street downtown.

"I think that I've got the experience," Bonarigo said when asked about his qualifications. "Thirty-six years practicing law in the trenches, representing people every day with various civil and criminal cases. I know the rules of evidence.

"I know how to behave in a courtroom, and I know how a judge should act. I've got the right temperament, the ability to listen, the ability to hear everybody who comes before you, to be impartial and fair."

If elected, Bonarigo promised that everybody who came before his bench would be treated fairly.

To get elected, he will have to beat Rogers, who is already a part-time City Court judge and has the City Republicans' endorsement.

But that endorsement doesn't guarantee Rogers the R-line in November.

Bonarigo and his campaign team, led by Nikki Calhoun, are planning a petition drive to force a Republican primary in June. The winner of that June 25th election will win the R-line in the November election.

If Bonarigo were to lose the primary, he could still face off against Rogers in November on the Democratic line.

Rich Richmond

I wonder why a Liberal Democrat is forcing a Republican Primary without first simply and respectfully going before the City of Batavia Republican Committee and asking for the endorsement.

Feb 9, 2019, 8:09pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

I wonder why any political party gets anything to say about who runs for judicial office. I was shocked when I saw political-party endorsement in a judicial race. I didn't realize that was a thing here. That's unheard of in California.

Judicial offices should be non-partisan. It's a major potential conflict of interest for any judge to seek any endorsements. (I'm not criticizing anybody for doing so, because that's apparently the system; just pointing out the major flaw in the system).

Feb 9, 2019, 9:22pm Permalink

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