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Virkler declares candidacy for Jefferson County Family Court judge

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Jefferson County Surrogate Court’s principal court attorney Friday became the first person to announce that he is running for Family Court judge.

Timothy L. Virkler has served as Judge Peter A. Schwerzmann’s primary legal adviser for the past nine years. Before that, the Lowville native served as an assistant district attorney with the county.

“I strongly believe I have the knowledge and experience to be the next Jefferson County Family Court judge,” Mr. Virkler said in a statement. “Over the coming months I look forward to meeting voters across the county and having the chance to earn their support.”

Mr. Virkler will be vying to succeed Judge Richard V. Hunt, who will be ending a 30-year run as judge. Under state law, judges must retire at age 70, and Judge Hunt will have reached that milestone by November’s election.

Mr. Virkler is a Jefferson Community College faculty member, having taught its paralegal program’s Legal Research and Writing class for the past eight years. He also has served as an instructor for the Judicial Education Program for town and village justices and presented at various continuing legal education seminars.

He is vice president of the board of directors for North Country Transitional Living Services and is board secretary for the Volunteer Transportation Center. In addition, he is a member of Samaritan Medical Center’s ethics committee and treasurer of the Lowville Academy Alumni and Friends Association, among other community involvement.

Mr. Virkler received his law degree from Albany Law School and his bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University, Washington, D.C. He lives with his wife and son in Watertown.

He will formally announce his candidacy at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Jefferson Room at the Best Western Carriage House Inn, 300 Washington St.

Attorney Susan A. Sovie, Sackets Harbor, owner of Susan A. Sovie Law Firm, Watertown, announced her candidacy for the Family Court seat at 10 a.m. Monday at the Masonic Temple, 242 Washington St. Other attorneys who have expressed interest are Eugene J. Langone Jr., Watertown, and Kathy L. Quencer, Brownville.

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