Will The Democratic Party Do the Right Thing and Endorse Judge McLeod?

There is a rumor going around that Judge James A.W. McLeod is not running for re-election.
At a Stakeholders meeting recently at the Delavan Grider Center a councilmember stood up at the end of the session and reminded citizens of the candidates who were running for City Court Judge in September– but the name of Judge McLeod – who happened to be at that meeting –was not included.
When that official was corrected, he apologized to Judge McLeod and said he was not aware of Mr. McLeod’s candidacy.
Others have falsely stated that the Judge is retiring.
So the “politricks” have clearly begun.
That is why it is so important that the community know the truth early in the game.
A key question today, is whether or not he will receive the same endorsement and support from the Democratic Party given every judge in his position, before him.
-Two Seats, Three Candidates-
There will be two seats for City Court on the ballot this year; Judge McLeod’s seat, which he is seeking to retain; and the seat vacated by Judge Joseph Fiorella. The three persons running for those seats include Judge McLeod; Lenora Foote Beavers, an African American attorney; and Shannon Heneghan, a White attorney who was appointed by Mayor Brown to fill the seat left vacant by Judge Fiorella. She has served since January of this year. Some residents have already taken issue with Mr. Brown’s appointment because of her affiliation with Carl Paladino, who is known for his racially insensitive exploits and derogatory remarks towards Black women..
-Served With Distinction-
Judge McLeod has served with distinction and honor in Buffalo City Court since 1999.
Upon joining the City Court Bench, his advocacy with the Administrative Judge for the 8th Judicial District resulted in the appointments of Sharon Thomas, the first Chief Court Clerk; Clarence Charity, the first Deputy Chief Court Clerk; and Ana Le Grange, the first 2nd Deputy Chief Court – all African Americans who made Western New York History and were the first clerks outside of the New York City area who were Black.
Judge McLeod, who holds a J.D. Degree from SUNY Buffalo School of Law, created the first “young adult” court in Western New York dedicated to handling criminal cases for 16, 17 and 18-year-olds.
“I created this court in an effort to reduce their re-engagement in the criminal justice system and to hopefully get them through the system without getting a criminal record,” he said.
Based upon his experience, he became by appointment, the first African American male to be designated and serve as acting County Court Judge. In the history of the New York State Courts he is the only Black male to serve in this position.
He has handled over 30,000 civil and criminal matters in his career.
Judge McLeod’s community involvement is extensive and he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Admitted to all New York State Courts, he served as former Confidential Law Clerk for State Supreme Court Justice Hon. Samuel L. Green, first African-American judge outside of New York City to be elected to a state judgeship.
“I’m seeking re-election as the most qualified candidate,” he said.

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