Schratz and VanDeMark Endorse Benedict for Judge

Benedict Gains Key Endorsements from Leading GOP Women


March 2, 2020

LOCKPORT—Niagara County Judge candidate Michael E. Benedict added a pair of high-level endorsements to his candidacy this morning as two Republican elected officials backed the Lockport attorney’s judicial bid.

City of Lockport Alderwoman-at-Large Ellen Schratz and Fourth Ward Alderwoman Kelly VanDeMark made the joint announcement this morning after meeting with Benedict late last week. The Republican duo join Democratic Lockport Mayor Michelle Roman, who endorsed Benedict’s candidacy a week ago.

“The decision of who should be our county judge is much bigger than party,” Schratz said, noting she had listened to Roman’s endorsement and found herself in agreement with the mayor’s thoughts on Benedict.

“We need a judge who has the character, the honesty and the integrity to be fair and evenhanded in the application of justice. I’ve known Mike Benedict and his wife Laura Miskell Benedict for years, and I know I trust Mike to bring dignity and independence to the courtroom.”

Niagara County Judge candidate Michael E. Benedict was endorsed by Lockport Fourth Ward Alderwoman Kelly VanDeMark, left, and Alderwoman-at-Large Ellen Schratz, right, this morning. The two Republican women praised Benedict’s “character, honesty and integrity” as they announced their support.
VanDeMark said Benedict’s reputation for honesty, coupled with his strong legal resumé, had driven her decision to endorse him.

“I know Mike Benedict’s word is everything. He’s honest, and he has the character this job absolutely requires,” VanDeMark said. “Candor is vital. Trustworthiness is essential. In Mike Benedict we have a candidate for judge who possesses those traits.”

Benedict has scored the endorsements of two political parties in his bid for county judge, with both the county Democrats and the Working Families parties backing his candidacy. He will be contesting all lines in the June 23 primary, making the endorsement by the two top Republican women significant.

“Our party has always prided itself in putting character first, and for that reason, every Republican should be voting for Mike Benedict,” Schratz said. “We’re also a party that cares about the family and traditional values, and that, too compels me to vote for Mike. He is a good dad, a good husband, and a good neighbor, who makes time for his kids’ soccer practice and dance recitals. He’s not a politician; he’s just a good man.”

VanDeMark added that, as a professional woman and a mother, she found something else appealing in Benedict.

“Mike Benedict truly respects the dignity of every person he comes in contact with, no matter their race, their gender, how much they make, what they do for a living, where they live,” VanDeMark said. “He has been a prosecutor and a public defender. He has fought for justice and to ensure people had their day in court, whether they were the accused or the victim. Mike Benedict is ready to make hard decisions, even if they’re not popular, if they are right and in the furtherance of the law.”

“Our community deserves a judge like Mike Benedict.”

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