Spafford justice keeps seat in local court

Voters in the town of Spafford had two decisions to make when they went to the polls on Nov. 4 -- who their town justice would be and if they wanted to pass a proposition regarding the clerk's position.

Republican incumbent Jerome "Jerry" Schinaman and Democrat Douglas Taylor were vying for the justice seat. County Board of Elections Commissioner Ed Ryan said Schinaman brought in 501 votes -- 466 Republican and 35 Independent -- while Taylor's votes totaled 334.

"This time was the first time I ran with an opposing candidate," Schinaman said, complementing the work done by the Democrats.

As a traditionally Republican town, Spafford went blue for the presidential election, and Schinaman believes his opponent had several Republicans vote for the Democratic party this year.

"Spafford is largely a Republican town so Democrats have an uphill battle," Taylor said. "Even though (President-elect Barack) Obama did carry the town, I was unable to ride on his coat tails."

Taylor, an attorney for the last 25 or so years and whose office is on North Street in Marcellus, said though he and the Democratic committee did not spend a whole lot of time campaigning, he was able to go out and put up signs and talk to residents.

The reason for his running for the town justice seat is largely due to his status as an accomplished attorney.

"One of the reasons the party wanted to run me was because I'm an attorney and the thought was that it is beneficial to have an attorney as the justice," he said.

The benefit of having Taylor run for office was that he already knows the law.

Though running for another public office is not in his immediate future, Taylor said it is possible that he may run again "because if I ever retire it would give much more time to devote to that."

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