When Skaneateles voters head for the polls in November's general elections, they will have to choose between two candidates vying for the town justice seat.
Paul Fiutak received the Democratic nomination for Skaneateles town justice over incumbent justice Charles Major in a vote of 34-7. The decision came during the Aug. 13 Democratic caucus.
"Our goal is to bring part of our philosophy within the Skaneateles Democratic party across the board and that is to offer an option to every Skaneateles voter," Fiutak said.
One of the driving forces behind his decision to run against Major is that there are too many disenchanted voters who go to the polls and are faced with only one candidate to choose from, he said. By running for town justice, Fiutak said the Democrats are "providing the Skaneateles voters a choice."
"It's nice if you're a voter to have a choice," Major said. However, as a candidate the process is much simpler when no one is campaigning against you because money isn't spent on campaign items and the opportunity for endorsement is much greater.
This year, Major will be running on the Republican and independent lines. When he ran four years ago, he ran as a Democrat, he said.
While it is not a requirement for town justices to have a background in law, Major has a multitude of experience with the judicial system. Along with his years of experience as the sitting town justice, he sat as a state Supreme Court judge for 10 years and retired after 35 years as a defense trial attorney. If Fiutak wins at the polls in November, it would be the first time in a long time that one of the justices for the town is not an attorney.
"Historically, at least one of the justices has been an attorney," Major said.