Politics and Elections

November 8, 2012

State Supreme Court justices chosen

ELIZABETHTOWN — One Democrat and three Republicans won the eight-person race for four open seats on the State Supreme Court Fourth Judicial District.

Incumbent Republican Joseph Sise led the vote with 156,930; followed by Democrat Christine Clark with 144,645; then Acting Supreme Court Justice Felix Catena, a Republican, in third with 139,620 votes; and Thomas Buchanan, a Republican, fourth with 139,104, according to Board of Elections figures.

They will all take seats on the State Supreme Court.


John Ellis of Tupper Lake, a Republican who works as a Family Court support-magistrate for the Fourth District, was in fifth place with 131,426 votes.

Democrats John Silvestri, Mark Powers and Jeffrey Wait finished behind Ellis in votes. Silvestri is a former Schroon Lake resident.

The Fourth District covers 11 counties, Essex, Clinton and Franklin among them.

Here’s a brief look at the new justices:


Buchanan, 42, lives in Rotterdam and is a litigation attorney in Latham.

He was formerly the chairman of the Republican Party in Schenectady County but stepped down last December to run for the Supreme Court seat.


Catena, 55, is a judge from Amsterdam. He has served as a trial judge for 17 years and is an acting Supreme Court justice. Catena was elected to a 10-year term as Montgomery County Court judge in November 1999, after having served as Amsterdam City Court judge for four years. He served on the Curriculum Committee for the New York State Unified Court System and was a member of the state Jury Trial Project.


Clark, 45, is a Family Court judge in Schenectady who ran for Supreme Court as a Democrat.

She is a graduate from Albany Law School at Union University and has served at many levels of the Schenectady legal system.


Sise, 49, a Supreme Court justice in Montgomery County, ran on the Republican ticket.

He went to law school at Albany Union University School of Law and graduated in 1988.

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