District Attorney race
County GOP backs Eric Schiener
By an overwhelming weighted vote of 5,260, former Livingston County First Assistant District Attorney Eric Schiener was drafted by the Livingston County Republican Committee as the committee’s designated candidate on the Sept. 13 primary election ballot. Livonia attorney Steve Sessler, the only other contestant, secured 583 votes.
The committee had reconvened Tuesday evening in the supervisor’s chambers for the expressed purpose of naming its choice for district attorney.
Committee members will now seek petition signatures from among registered Republican voters in their districts to secure primary ballot spots for the committee’s full slate of favored candidates, Schiener included. Five percent of the registered party electorate — approximately 850 voter signatures — are required total to put a candidate on the primary election ballot.
Schiener was nominated by Committeeman Paul Schmied, who cited Schiener’s 12 years experience as a county assistant district attorney and 6 years as first assistant, describing him as “the right man.”
Schiener received hearty seconds and endorsement remarks from Kim Moran and Mark Schuster, who made mention Schiener’s 100-plus prosecutions per year and his support among the law enforcement community.
Schuster further called attention to the “dirty political tactics which tried to derail the candidacy of a good man,” and had caused the postponement of Schiener’s designation at the previous meeting. Schuster’s second was followed by a multitude of seconds voiced by other committee members.
Sessler received a more subdued nomination from Roberta Irwin and second from Kelly Howard.
In the Livingston County tradition, the vote was an open roll call, while the two candidates waited outside the chambers. All other designations had been made two weeks earlier.
In his acceptance speech, Schiener thanked former district attorney Tom Moran, who had sufficient confidence in “a kid from Sardinia, New York” to make him First Assistant District Attorney.
Schiener then remarked upon the May 18 appointment by the Democratic governor of a Democratic district attorney, advising, “It is clear this political appointee will be seeking the job in November.”
Schiener told the committee, “The Democrats are salivating at the chance of putting a Democrat into a Republican county government — but his five months will not stack up to my 12 years on the job.”
Schiener thanked the committee, telling the members, “I was your right choice here; I’ll be the right choice in September and I’ll be the right choice in November.”
Sessler told The County News that he will “absolutely” be appearing on the Sept. 13 Republican primary election ballot as and alternate choice to Schiener.
“The determination of the candidates in all political parties in New York is made by the vote of the enrolled party members in the countywide [primary] election,” Sessler pointed out.