BEDFORD, N.Y.-- For 37 years, Judy Aydelott has been involved in the Town of Bedford. Now she is ready to serve.
Aydelott is the Democratic nominee for Town Justice running against Incumbent Eric Jacobsen, the Republican candidate. Aydelott is also competing in the Sept. 10 primary for the nominations of the Independence and Conservative parties.
"I feel I can add to the courts in Bedford," Aydelott said. "I've been involved in this community for many years. I love Bedford."
Aydelott founded Aydelott and Aydelott with her husband, Gordon, working as a trial attorney in medical malpractice cases. She is a former director and president of Friends of Karen, and the director of A-Home. while also serving on the advisory board for Friends of the John Jay Homestead.
A former commentator for Court TV, she also served as an adjunct professor at St. John's University and was on the advisory council for Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.
"I think my broad experience will assist me in my ability to be a good judge," Aydelott said. "I know how court works. I will be professional and clear in my rulings."
Aydelott ran for Congress in 2006, losing the Democratic primary to John Hall, though she received an endorsement from The New York Times. She later supported Hall in his successful bid against Sue Kelly.
As a judge, Aydelott said she will be fair and impartial. She said she wants to work with young people who get arrested on drunk driving charges.
"I want to make it clear to them that these charges are serious and they should take it seriously," Aydelott said. " A lot of these laws are statutory, it's about how you talk to someone."
Aydelott said she would like to go into schools and talk to students about the law and the consequences of breaking the law.
"A lot of being a judge is common sense and listening," Aydelott said. "I can listen to arguments from both sides and use common sense and my legal background to come up with a good idea."
As a judicial candidate, Aydelott is not allowed to take any political stand, and said she is not running a negative campaign against Jacobsen.
"I feel I have a lot to offer the town," Aydelott said.
Aydelott has been passionate about the law since she was young, eschewing traditional female jobs like social work, teaching or being a nurse.
"I wanted to be an attorney," Aydelott said.
Being a trial lawyer required a lot of energy and was very labor intensive.
"There was a lot of pressure," Aydelott said. "You have to know the case inside and out. Hearing the verdict is exhilarating and satisfying."
Aydelott even won a case against the National Institute of Health and Georgetown University where she exposed a cover-up in a medical malpractice suit.
"It was David v. Goliath," Aydelott said. "I never worked harder."
As part of her campaign, Aydelott has been on a listening tour throughout Bedford, hearing various grievances from residents.
"It's been a lot of door knocking but I've received a positive reaction," Aydelott said. "As a judge I will be consistent, fair, and serve with integrity and efficiency. I am looking forward to being town justice and adding to the flavor of Bedford."