Voters selected Democrat Ted Limpert and Republican Melinda McGunnigle for two open seats on the Onondaga County Court bench.

The two spots were vacated by retiring judges Thomas Miller and Stephen Dougherty.

McGunnigle is the first woman elected to serve as an Onondaga County Court judge.

She and Limpert defeated Republican Jeff Schiano and Democrat Annaleigh Porter.

McGunnigle has worked in the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office for the last 15 years. Five years ago, McGunnigle was named the head of the office’s homicide bureau. She is just the second woman to serve in the role. 

She continues a pipeline of prosecutors to the county court bench. Gordon Cuffy and Matthew Doran, the two judges left on the bench after Dougherty’s and Miller’s retirements, also worked in the DA’s office. 

Limpert served 11 years on the city court bench, from 2009 until 2020. He was initially appointed by Mayor Matt Driscoll. Limpert was then elected to the bench in 2010. He lost a 2020 re-election campaign. 

While he worked on the city court bench, Limpert oversaw human trafficking court and veterans treatment court. 

A resident of the Strathmore neighborhood in the city, Limpert also has a background in city politics. In the 1990s, he served on the Common Council and later ran for mayor. 

Limpert was one of two candidates commended by the Central New York Women’s Bar Association.

Read more about the race here.


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Chris Libonati covers government, accountability and equity. Have a tip? Contact Chris at 585-290-0718 or