MORRISTOWN A political newcomer fresh off a law enforcement career is campaigning to replace G. Thomas Bertrand Jr., as Morristown Town Justice.
Retired state police trooper Lisa G. Whitmarsh said she decided to run after being encouraged by local citizens.
They thought that I would do well in this position, Mrs. Whitmarsh, who retired in January, said. Ive always had an interest in law and I didnt want to just stop.
Originally from Portville, south of Buffalo, Mrs. Whitmarsh has lived in Morristown with her husband, Gary, since 1998.
Ive been trying to introduce myself to as many people in the local area as physically possible, Mrs. Whitmarsh said. Ive been knocking on doors and making sure people know me.
Ive been getting a great reception, she said. Its a lot of fun.
A 22-year veteran of the state police, Mrs. Whitmarsh said she believes she is well suited for the position.
Acknowledging that there will be a learning curve if she gets elected, Mrs. Whitmarsh said, Ive been attending arraignments since I graduated from the New York State Police Academy in 1991.
I think I have as much experience in court proceedings as anyone, she added. Ive had to testify in local criminal courts all the way to county courts. Ive touched base with just about every crime out there.
I think my law enforcement [career] has prepared me immensely, Mrs. Whitmarsh said.
Mrs. Whitmarsh, whose job as a state trooper saw her patrolling the Gouverneur and Ogdensburg area, said she is a strong advocate for public safety.
Its a big concern of mine, she said, the safety of the individuals who live here.
I try to be as compassionate as I possibly can even if I am writing a ticket, Mrs. Whitmarsh said, adding that she wants to bring her sense of public safety and compassion into the courtroom.
I try to be fair in whatever I do and I try to do a good job, she said.
Mrs. Whitmarsh is running as a Republican and is on the Conservative and Independence Party line as well.
Mr. Bertrand is running for re-election.
The two are expected to face off in a GOP primary election Sept. 10. The general election is Nov. 5.