CHEMUNG COUNTY (WETM-TV)- Damian Sonsire, a prominent local attorney who served for nearly seventeen years as a Chemung County Assistant District Attorney, announced that he will continue his campaign for Chemung County Court Judge to replace former Chemung County Judge Christopher Baker who was elected to serve as a New York Supreme Court Justice in 2019.
Sonsire ran against Ottavio Campanella, an Elmira City Court Judge with three years remaining of his term, in last month’s primary elections.
Sonsire defeated Campanella in both the Conservative and Independence primaries by carrying 52.9% and 51.3% of the vote, respectively, and will appear on the ballot for those lines in November’s election. Campanella won the Republican primary by 118 votes, constituting 50.2% of the vote.
“I took some time to really think things through after the primaries as the results were extremely close,” said Sonsire.
“I am committed to continuing to work as hard as I can until November to earn a seat on the bench because I believe my legal experience and balanced approach to the law will allow me to serve our community well as judge.”
“There is no question that this is a very challenging time for Chemung County, like it is for most places right now,” Sonsire observed.
“Aside from the pandemic, we are a nation increasingly divided by partisanship. However, a race for judge should never be about politics, as the characteristics of fairness and impartiality can easily be undermined when political influence is interjected into judicial elections. My campaign has been solely about me and my qualifications for this important position from the start, something that will not change at all as we continue moving forward.”
Sonsire was hired to serve as an Assistant District Attorney for Chemung County in 2001. During his tenure at the District Attorney’s Office, Sonsire handled serious felony criminal prosecutions and was lead counsel in several high-profile trials, leading to his endorsement by the New York State Troopers PBA.
“As the father of two young daughters, I recognize the critical need to keep our streets safe. My wife, Attorney Christina Bruner Sonsire, and I have deep roots in this community. We vowed long ago to do whatever we can to help make Chemung County the kind of place our children will want to call home. Serving as judge would allow me the chance to use the skills and knowledge I possess in order to help our area.”
Sonsire and Campanella will face each other again in the general election on November 3rd.