On Tuesday, November 6, two candidates will appear on the ballot seeking the position of Chenango’s County, Surrogate and Family Court Judge – Diane DiStefano on the Democrat and Working Families party lines, and Frank Revoir Jr. on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. Here, in their own words, each candidate makes a final appeal to Chenango County voters.
My judicial campaign began nine months ago. However, my dream of becoming your Chenango County Court Judge began much earlier. Upon graduating from Norwich High School in 1984, I was hired through the Chenango County Summer employment program. During that summer, I worked for County Court Judge Irad Ingraham and became acquainted with the workings of the County Court, the Family Court and the Surrogate’s Court. I was absolutely fascinated with the system and throughout my college years, I continued to work in the Chenango County Court system each summer, under County Court Judge Kevin Dowd. As a direct result of this working experience, I made the ultimate decision to go to law school.
While attending Albany Law School, rather than choosing to seek an internship or employment opportunity in the Capital District, I chose to seek employment in Chenango County. I did so, because I never had one moment’s doubt that I would be coming back home. Fortunately for me, local attorney Scott Clippinger provided me with that opportunity. For the duration of my law school experience, I arranged my course schedule so that I was able to travel home and work with Mr. Clippinger at the end of each and every week. This experience was invaluable and I am forever grateful, for I was working directly with an attorney who practiced in the Chenango County Court system. By the time I graduated from law school, I already had seven years of intermittent working experience in the Chenango County Court system.
After graduating from law school, I began working with Mr. Clippinger as an attorney and with Judge Dowd as his Law Clerk. This dual employment also proved invaluable, for as a law clerk, I was afforded the opportunity to work directly in all three courts – Family Court, County Court and Surrogate’s Court, and as a private practicing attorney, I was afforded the opportunity to work in all of the other courts, such as the Supreme Court, Town Courts, Village Courts and the Norwich City Court. Five years later in 1996, I opened my own private law practice which I have continued to maintain, representing litigants (including children) in Family Court, County Court and Surrogate’s Court. I have also continued to serve as a part-time Assistant County Attorney, prosecuting juvenile delinquents. Suffice it to say, my experience in the Chenango County Court system spans almost 3 decades – a fact I had not really pondered myself until very recently.
On a more personal level, like many families with two working spouses, my wife and I do our best to juggle all of our responsibilities at work and at home, while remaining attentive to the needs of our children. We have a 22-year-old son and a 19-year-old son, both of whom currently attend college – one in Brooklyn and one in Rochester. While the boys may be away from home, they still need our constant support, guidance and direction. Regardless of how exhausted or preoccupied my wife and I may be with other matters, including this campaign, we end most days lying in bed, passing the cell phone back and forth, talking to one or both of the boys.
At the same time, we have a 10-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son. They still require transportation to school and daycare. They have activities and events; parent/teacher conferences; routine doctor & dentist appointments; unexpected calls from the school nurse requiring a trip to the walk in clinic; and yes, they both need to be tucked into bed each evening. Like many fathers, I pride myself on the fact that I play an active role in their daily lives. Thankfully, my self-employment has afforded me the flexibility to do so. My day may start with an early morning review of files; waking the kids; preparing breakfast; driving them to school; and then going to the office. My workday does not end at 5 p.m., but routinely continues with appearances in the local town courts, sometimes getting home after 9 p.m. – with dinner and kid’s activities in between. My wife and I, like many parents, often feel as if our daily routine is a whirlwind. But regardless, we continue to do what we believe is best for all of our children, because our children are our top priority. Like most parents, my wife and I go about our day quietly tending to the needs of our children without boasting or exaggerating its significance. What we do for our children is what is expected of all parents – nothing more and nothing less and certainly nothing that qualifies us as superheroes!
As the time to vote draws near, I ask the voters to seriously ponder the significance of this judicial election. This election is not about making history, much less writing another chapter. This election is not about putting a woman or a man on the bench, for there are several hundred men and women around the State of New York who currently serve on the bench – including right here in good ole Chenango County. This election is not about being a mother versus being a father. This election is not about being a Democrat, Republican or Independent. This election is about choosing the candidate you trust most with making potentially life-altering decisions that affect you, your family and our community.
During the past nine months of campaigning across this vast county, we have coined the phrase “this is a comprehensive job that requires a comprehensive candidate.” Lest we forget, we are electing one judge to preside over three separate and distinct courts – the Family Court, the County Court and the Surrogate’s Court. I am the only candidate with the necessary and relevant experience in all three courts. My professional background, coupled with my life experience and temperament, make me the comprehensive candidate – the candidate best suited, willing and able to meet the expected duties of the job.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this election, I have thoroughly enjoyed traveling about this county, from town to town, attending community events and meeting hundreds of people. Your outpouring of support and hospitality has been tremendous, and for this I am thankful. I am very proud to be a part of this wonderful place we call Chenango County. I draw my energy, enthusiasm and motivation from you.
I hope you will consider placing your trust in me on November 6th, for it would be my honor to serve as your next County Court Judge.
Frank Revoir Jr.