Onondaga County voters will elect two judges — half of the bench — to serve 10-year terms during this election.

The four candidates for two spots are:

Judges Thomas Miller and Stephen Dougherty announced their retirements earlier this year. That leaves judges Gordon Cuffy, a Democrat, and Matthew Doran, a Republican, both former prosecutors in the remaining seats on the bench.

Two of the four candidates have served as prosecutors in the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office and three of the four have experience in criminal defense.

Porter or McGunnigle could make history as the first women to be elected to the county court bench.

Read our full profiles of each candidate at the links below.

Heading into the voting booth and need a refresher on local elections? Check out our Election Guide.

Ted Limpert

Ted Limpert, a Democrat, is one of four candidates for Onondaga County Court judge. (Courtesy of Ted Limpert)

Ted Limpert served a 10-year term on the city court bench, where he oversaw veterans treatment court and human trafficking court.

He was initially appointed by then-Mayor Matt Driscoll before being elected to his term in 2009. Limpert served until he lost a re-election campaign in 2020.

Limpert served nearly 30 years in the military as part of the Air National Guard. He’s also served on the city’s Common Council and run for mayor.

Melinda McGunnigle

Melinda McGunnigle, a Republican, is running for Onondaga County Court judge. She’s the chief homicide prosecutor and has worked in the office for 15 years. Credit: Courtesy of Melinda McGunnigle

Melinda McGunnigle, a Republican, has worked for more than 20 years in prosecutors’ offices across New York State.

McGunnigle, who grew up in Strathmore, interned in the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office as a college student and has worked there for the last 15 years. For the last five years, McGunnigle has served as the office’s chief homicide prosecutor.

Annaleigh Porter

Annaleigh Porter, a Democrat, is running for Onondaga County Court judge. She has more than a decade of experience in criminal defense law. Credit: Courtesy of Annaleigh Porter

Annaleigh Porter, a Democrat, has worked for more than a decade in criminal defense.

Before becoming a lawyer, Porter worked as a chemical dependency counselor for nearly a year. She has also worked as a Title IX hearing officer at Syracuse University, where she presides over sexual assault and harassment cases.

Porter is the president of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association.

Jeff Schiano

Jeff Schiano, a Republican candidate for Onondaga County Court judge. Credit: Courtesy of Jeff Schiano

Jeff Schiano, a Republican, is the only candidate to have experience in all three criminal courtroom roles as a judge, defense lawyer and prosecutor.

Schiano spent the first six years of his career as a prosecutor at the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office before leaving to become a defense attorney.

In 2019, Schiano was elected as a Clay town justice and has served in that role since.

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Chris Libonati

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