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Letter to the Editor

August 21, 2014
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Dear Editor:

On Tuesday September 9th, Chautauqua County voters affiliated with every major political party will be going to the polls to determine your choice to be the November nominee of your political party for Chautauqua County Family Court judge. I am a candidate for this election in the Democratic, Independence, Conservative, Working Families and Green Party Primary Elections.

The September 9th Primary Election is precursor to the Nov. 5th General Election and I cannot stress too highly the significance of this newly created position or the impact the newly created second Family Court Judge will have on our county residents. This is a most important election.

For the past 29-years I have maintained a law practice in Dunkirk and further for the past 27-years I have served as a Westfield Town Justice. I have dedicated my professional career to the law representing families and family members. The once strong foundation that were symbolic of our families in past generations has for many been compromised, weakened and sometimes even broken. In dealing with family issues, it is often important to offer help prior to entering the courtroom. To assist with this need I served on boards, not as a paid member, but as a volunteer to help children and families who needed counseling in the Jamestown and Westfield areas. I have lectured to father groups and the Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness (PEACE) program. I am a public servant who is devoted my life to helping others. I truly value our families.

The timing for the Chautauqua County Family Court Judgeship could not be more appropriate. The next Family Court Judge will absolutely need to hit the ground running. I have the proven experience and background to make the needed quick transition. I am a sitting judge, and I have been a judge in Westfield for over 27 years. As judge, we are required to participate in annual training and continuing education classes. I have done so for each and every year. As a voter, please keep in mind that a judge holds the highest position in our courtrooms. The temperament of the judge, and, the ability to mutually respect each individual is critical to maintaining a fair approach to hearing cases, and ultimately, making decisions. This should not be taken lightly, particularly in family court when we are dealing with the most intimate of details, heartbreaks and upsets within a family. I possess these qualities. I am professional, fair and level headed.

The Primary Election is Tuesday, September 9, and every county town and city poll sites will be open from 12 noon until 9 p.m. If you are going to be out of town or can't get to the polls on Election Day, p[lease visit for an absentee ballot application or call the Board of Elections at 753-4580.

I urge all eligible voters to mark a ballot for me or your choice; but please do vote! We owe it to our families to elect a judge who is highly capable, compassionate and fair. The time is right. I am ready to serve our residents as your Chautauqua County Family Court Judge.

Note: Westfield has not had a county wide judge as a resident in over 106 years according to the County Archives in Mayville.

James J. Spann

Chautauqua County Family Court Candidate



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