BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Democrats have announced their candidate for a seat on the Binghamton City Court bench.

Debra Gelson is running for City Court Judge.

The position was vacated when Carol Cocchiola was elected as a Broome County Court Judge in November.

Gelson has nearly 40 years of experience as an attorney, including 15 years as a prosecutor, 15 years as a defense attorney and 10 years as a judge in Trenton, New Jersey.

She was the Democratic candidate for Broome County District Attorney 4 years ago, losing in a 3-way race to Libertarian Mike Korchak.

Korchak, who has since switched his party affiliation back to Republican, subsequently hired Gelson as a Senior Assistant DA, overseeing the financial crimes unit and prosecuting cases involving children and sexual violence.

Gelson says she has the proper experience and temperament for the role.

“It’s imperative that you have to have understanding, you have to have compassion, you have to make sure that the individuals understand exactly how they’re proceeding. You have to have integrity and you have to be fair.”

Gelson says she’s been encouraged by both Democrats and Republicans to run for the office.

She’s expected to face Republican Sophie Bergman who was appointed by Mayor Jared Kraham to fill the position temporarily pending the outcome of November’s special election.