TOWN OF BINGHAMTON – A trio of GOP candidates are up for seats on the New York State Supreme Court.
There are three state Supreme Curt Judgeships open in the 6th Judicial District with the vacancies created by retirement.
Oliver Blaise, Judge Chris Baker, and Mark Masler have each earned the nominations of the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties.
Blaise has worked as an attorney for more than two decades with the law firm Coughlin and Gerhart focusing on municipal law and civil litigation.
He also served as the Republican Election Commissioner for the Broome County Board of Elections and as the President of the Broome County Bar Association.
Blaise says he’s ready to take his work from in front of the bench to behind it.
“Serving as a Supreme Court Justice is a way that uses my training and experience in the legal system and as an advocate of the supreme court to give back to the community. To make sure that cases are handled fairly, promptly and that people are treated with respect,” Blaise says.
Chris Baker was born and raised in Elmira and has spent 23 years practicing law.
He was elected as a Chemung County Judge in 2016 covering cases in every aspect of law.
He served 17 years as State Supreme Court Justice Judy O’Shea’s Confidential Attorney, Counselor and Principal Law Clerk before being named active justice to fill her seat after she retired.
Baker says he’s worked his whole life for this opportunity.
“My whole career has been guided working in the court system. To reach this position is something that I’ve always strived for. I’ve made sure I have the necessary experience and qualifications so that one day when a position such as this came open I would have the confidence and legal experience and all the necessary qualifications to run for this position,” said Baker.
Mark Masler spent time working as a banker and dairy farmer before going to Cornell Law School where he graduated from in 1993.
He served fifteen years as a lawyer in the Ithaca Office of the Harris Beach law firm where he became a partner.
Since 2008, he has he has served as the Attorney and Principal Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice Phillip Rumsey.
Masler says his path makes him uniquely qualified for the position.
“I know the district I got a variety of life and business experiences from dairy farming to banking that allow me to understand the community, the needs of the community. Also allows me to appreciate the people who appear in court, understand their problems, concerns why they’re there and to treat them with respect,” Masler said.
Democratic candidates for the New York State Supreme Court 6th Judicial District Justice seats include Pete Charnetsky of Vestal and Claudette Newman of Gilbertsville.
Voters will be able to make their choice on election day in November.