Democrats Nominate Pridgen, Davis, Wilson for City Court

The Erie County Democratic Party recently  nominated incumbent judges JaHarr S. Pridgen, Gary A. Wilson Jr., and Samuel P. Davis for Buffalo City Court bench.

Pridgen, formerly an assistant district attorney elected to City Court in 2015, was sworn in as the Court’s first woman chief judge on July 1 after being named to that position by Mayor Byron W. Brown. When elected in 2015, she was the youngest City Court jurist. Although City Court judges hold 10-year terms, Pridgen must run in 2022 for a full term under her new title. 

Davis, an attorney in private practice, and Wilson, principal law clerk to Supreme Court Judge John Licata, were both appointed by Mayor Brown to the Court last Friday to fill the vacancies created by Pridgen’s promotion and Judge Betty Calvo Torres’ appointment to the state Court of Claims.

“Our party and our community are fortunate to have such a deep and diverse bench of judicial talent on tap for moments like this,” said Democratic Chair Jeremy J. Zellner. “Each in their own right have already proven themselves outstanding members of the legal community.

“This is a unique and historic moment for many reasons, given that Judge Pridgen is the first woman to serve as City Court Chief Judge and that Judge Wilson is the court’s first LGBTQ+ member,” he said. “And at this time, more than ever, our courts must look like and reflect the communities they serve, and have members who put the law before politics. That is a guiding principle for ECDC as we make our 2022 judicial nominations.

“I also want to thank our Judicial Advisory Council for their guidance and diligence in helping maintain the highest standard of judicial excellence,” Zellner added. 

Pridgen graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2002 and Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2006. Davis earned his undergraduate degree at Western Illinois University before attending law school at UB, where Wilson also studied law after graduating from Cornell University.

The candidates will appear on the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election ballot.