Historic Race in Wayne County

WAYNE COUNTY -- In Wayne County, the race for judge for Court of Common Pleas is historic.

There are signs and billboards all over for the candidates: Janine Edwards, the first female district attorney in the county and Pam Wilson, a Honesdale attorney.

"It's the big talker around the water cooler, certainly. It's dividing people, but hopefully, it will bring people together towards the end,” said Joe Kelly of Honesdale.

The winner of the race replaces retiring President Judge Raymond Hamill who has held the seat for the last decade.

"I can bring new blood to the courthouse. I'm honest. I have integrity, and I'm ready to go on day one. I don't have any conflicts preventing me from serving, and I'm ready to go,” said Wilson.

"As the first female Wayne County district attorney, I am thrilled to be running for judge. I will tell you that in my mind, it's about service. The job I do now is for the taxpayers. Being a judge for the taxpayers is the next step in service in my opinion,” said Edwards.

The idea of making history in this race is exciting for many in Wayne County.

"That would be cool because there's never been two women running against each other and it would be kind of new to everybody,” said 10-year old Emma Kelly of Honesdale.

Both Wilson and Edwards have cross-filed, meaning their names will appear on the Democratic and Republican tickets on May 16.

Both believe a woman would be perfect for the job.

"As a woman, I have a broad understanding of not just my job, but my community and my children. I have two teenagers. If that's not a trying and difficult thing, I don't know what is,” said Edwards.

"I think it's a great opportunity and we haven't had a judge, a new judge in 10 years, and based on both of our ages, whoever gets in could be in for not just one term, which is 10 years, but a two period term, which would be 20 years,” said Wilson.

And some voters say they think an all-female race will draw more woman to the polls.

"It's probably going to be one of the most competitive races they've seen in a while because it's two women. Probably should see a lot of women come out in full force like they did for Hillary. So it's probably a big thing for now and for the county,” said Gabrielle Dunnigan of Beach Lake.

Since both candidates appear on each party's ballot, if one wins on the Democratic ticket and the other wins on the Republican side,  they may face off again in November.

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