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Three candidates vying for Herkimer County Family Court Judge

By By CAROLINE GABLE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - After serving as Herkimer County Family Court Judge for 26 years, Judge Henry LaRaia is stepping down.

That makes this election year the first time in a quarter of a century that there is no incumbent in the race for Herkimer County Family Court Judge, as LaRaia has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Democrat Mary Iocovozzi announced she's joining the race for Herkimer County Family Court Judge at a press conference Friday in Little Falls.

If elected, she would be the first county-wide female court judge in Herkimer County history.

As a Herkimer County native, who has worked as a family court attorney for 25 years, she said she brings experience to the table.

In addition, she is also a breast cancer survivor, and her fight against cancer taught her that giving back to the community is more important than ever.

"With my experience, I feel that I can make an impact, because I've been doing it for so long," Iocovozzi said. "I have a real passion for the work and the job."

Republican John Brennan has been endorsed by the Herkimer County Republican Committee for the job.

Brennan has over 20 years of experience serving local supreme court judges as a law clerk and legal assistant. Brennan is also a Little Falls resident whose involved with several community projects.

"We've got to do less with more," Brennan said describing the current economic times. "We're going to have to be more creative and I believe that's what I can bring to the job. I've worked on a number of projects in the community. I know my community, and I know the issues and I think you have to be innovative being a judge ."

A third candidate has also recently announced he's running for the position. Stephen Getman is the Support Magistrate for Herkimer County and has 30 years of experience working in family court.

Getman is a lifelong resident of Ilion, with eight children.

"I'm as well qualified as anyone for the position," Getman said.

The primary vote for this race will take place on September 15.

In the meantime, Judge Henry LaRaia is planning for a well-deserved retirement. He plans to get back to some hobbies he's been neglecting for 26 years, such as golf.

He said he's also looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren.

As for any advice from the veteran, LaRaia said the most important thing for his predecessor to do is know the law, apply it, and keep the best interest of children first.

He also said that every day is different, and he's never had a boring day on the job in 26 years.

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