CARMEL – Two town justices from both sides of the county will be seeking the Putnam County judgeship vacated in June by the death of Judge James Reitz.
Putnam’s Democrats have endorsed Philipstown Justice Camille Linson as its candidate while Carmel Justice Joseph Spofford has also announced his candidacy.
In addition to receiving Democratic backing, Linson is expected to receive the support of the Working Families and Libertarian Parties while Spofford will run with both Republican and Conservative Party endorsement
Putnam Democratic Committee Chairman Scott Reing described Judge Linson as a person who “exemplifies everything we could want in a county judge. An expansive knowledge of the law and courtroom procedure as well as the unique empathy and judicial demeanor necessary to successfully preside over Family Court, Surrogate Court and Treatment Court.”
During his announcement, Spofford recalled the relationship he had with Judge Reitz. “Jim was a dear friend, a colleague and a pillar of our community. A void has been created by Jim’s passing and I hope to fill that void.”
Spofford has served residents of the Carmel-Mahopac area as town justice for the past 19 years.
Through his private practice, Spofford has 30 years of court experience in family, surrogate, criminal and Supreme Court.
Linson was elected in Philipstown in 2016. She is also an attorney for more than 20 years.
Linson expressed excitement over the endorsement indicating her desire “to serve the people of Putnam County. The drug court survives on the dedication and most importantly specialized knowledge and experience of its judge. Judge Reitz mentored me in treatment court matters and I have been working hard in this area since taking the bench.”
Linson also noted that she was a “regular participant in events targeting the opioid crisis and incorporate the Drug Court philosophy in my work on the Town Court bench.”
While Linson is well known and respected on the western side of the county, she is relatively unknown on the eastern side.
Reing said he didn’t believe this would hurt the Democratic candidate. “She will have to work harder but Democrats in general must work harder, no matter who the candidate might be or what town they are from in Putnam County. Both sides of our county have passionate voters who support Camille’s candidacy. Since the D.A.’s race is uncontested this year, we have a countywide race.”