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Columbia Co. DA candidates endorsed

Mar 05, 2019 7:40 am
Amanda Purcell is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Republican Committee last week endorsed incumbent District Attorney Paul Czajka, who is running for his third consecutive four-year term. He will face challenger Democrat Eugene Keeler in November. Keeler, of Greenport, served as district attorney from 1984 to 1987. If elected, Keeler said he wants to do away with what he says is the “arbitrary and capricious decision-making” of the DA’s office. “I am the reform candidate for the 21st century,” Keeler said. “We’re still in the 1950s in Columbia County. I would like to think one of my emphases as DA would be that the search for justice is imperative over the search for convictions.” Czajka, of Livingston, served as DA from1987 through 1995, and as county judge from 1995 to 2011 Keeler took on Czajka in the 2011 DA race and lost. Czajka's candidacy was put forward by six Republicans — two former county sheriffs, two former Hudson Police Department officers, a retired State Police investigator and County Clerk Holly Tanner. Following the announcement of Keeler's candidacy, Columbia County Republican Party Chairman Greg Fingar and Conservative Party Chairman Brian Gardner released a joint statement saying Keeler has not practiced law in the last 10 years, and noted his unsuccessful bids for DA in 2015, 2011, 2007. In response, Columbia County Democratic Committee Chairman Keith Kanaga said, “Gene has spent his entire life helping other people, as a district attorney, a lawyer and as a social worker with the incarcerated. Gene never gives up on helping others or serving the people of Columbia County." County Democrats also nominated Cheryl Roberts for Supreme Court Justice in the Third Judicial District. The county GOP endorsed incumbents PJ Keeler for treasurer and James Bertram for coroner. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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