PELHAM, N.Y. Democrat George Bischof is running for one of two town justice seats in Pelham this electoral season. The father of two is running against fellow Democrat Mercedes Maldonado, Republicans Stephen Huff and John De Chiaro and Conservative Stephen Ruffino.
Question: How did you get involved in the race for town justice?
Answer: My wife and I have both been active in the community for a long time. When it came to my attention this spring that Justice (Anthony) Pasquantonio was stepping down, I expressed interest in running (and) threw my hat in the ring.
Q: What are the most important issues in Pelham that you would address as town justice?
A: The biggest issue I think is that of character, the character of the town. My wife and I love Pelham very much. I think its important that we preserve the excellent reputation that our local court system has. That involves some change. I think you can make an argument for change that preserves the reputation of the office but still say to the voters that there is a decision to be made.
Q: Incumbent Stephen Huff has served Pelham as a justice for more than 30 years. What unique challenges are there in opposing a candidate with such longevity?
A: Challenge is the right way to describe it. We can respect and value Judge Huffs service and yet still make a case for change. The voters of Pelham can take their own view on the amount of experience and the kind of experience that they want to see in that position.
Q: How would your experience as an attorney dealing with trusts and estates help you serve as town justice if you are elected?
A: I bring a number of different kinds of experience. (My job) is very much a process of dispute resolution and trying to craft something that respects the wishes of those who might not be present. That process is absolutely useful and good experience that would help me serve as town judge.
Q: What was your familys reaction to your running for town justice?
A: It was one of support. My kids are really excited. I thought it was a good opportunity to participate in the community.
Keep an eye out for an interview with Democratic candidate Mercedes Maldonado on Monday.
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