While much has been made of who will get the Democratic Party nomination for the one open seat on the Supreme Court, a Republican is poised to get her party’s nomination later this week.
Lisa M. Fisher, 47, a Greene County resident and Kingston attorney, is expected to be the GOP’s pick and she will run against whoever comes out on top in the ongoing battle between Family Court Judge Margaret “Peggy” Walsh and county Legislator Justin Corcoran. The well-documented intraparty delegate fight will come to a conclusion one way or another when the party’s Judicial Nominating Convention takes place on Friday.
The Republicans also meet on Friday and the Conservative Party, which is expected to endorse Fisher, on Saturday.
The way it works is that delegates are picked by party bosses from the seven counties that make up the Third Judicial District. Those delegates are elected by voters and sent to a Judicial Nominating Convention where they vote for what is usually an agreed upon candidate. Rare is it when there are primaries for delegates.
Delegates for Walsh, who cannot run for Supreme Court and Family Court at the same time, won 17 of 30 primaries so 17 from Albany County will likely cast their votes for Walsh and 13 will likely vote for Cocoran at the convention. It’s unclear how delegates from the other counties will vote.
One criticism of Cocoran – in addition to the fact he is a man – is that he is part of the old line Democrats whereas Walsh is favored by the “progressive” Democrats headed up by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. One criticism of Walsh is she already has the party’s nomination for a re-election bid for Family Court.
Fisher has been in private practice for 17 years and has served as an assistant public defender for the Ulster County Public Defender’s Office, staff attorney for the Ulster County Department of Social Services, and Court attorney for Hon. Edward T. Feeney, Kingston City Court.
A contested judicial race for the Third District is a recent phenomenon. For years, political party bosses for the Democrats and Republicans would swap endorsements to avoid a costly, seven-county race that depletes limited resources with little political return in the way of jobs.
The Third Judicial District consists of Albany, Ulster, Rensselaer, Greene, Columbia, Sullivan and Schoharie counties. The seat that carries a 14-year-term opened up when Judge Joseph Teresi, of Albany County, retired.