Friday, October 28, 2011

District Attorney Candidates Debate

Columbia County 
District Attorney

Democrat Eugene Keeler 
Republican Paul Czjaka

The debate was sponsored jointly by the Register-Star and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. The moderator for the event was Columbia County Chamber of Commerce President David Colby and was held Friday October 29th.

Following is a report on the debate by Cyndy Hall, Chair of the Columbia County Democratic Committee.
I attended the debate yesterday at SPACE 360 along with a good number of other Democrats.  The format was very similar to that used by the now defunct Columbia County League of Women Voters. The room was full, about 150 people and I think fairly evenly split between supporters of both candidates. Both made opening statements, questions were taken from the audience and each had closing statements. You can read more about it in the Register-Star.

About the actual debate:
Gene Keeler was excellent! He presented new ideas to help people in trouble with the law, especially young people and promised to throw the book at hard core criminals. He called Czajka out on "special treatment for special people" and gave specific examples to back up his case; he gave examples of Czajka intermingling politics with the law: He stated that in the past the DA's office only focused on conviction rates and he would focus on social justice. Gene was articulate, passionate about the law and helping people and presented many new ideas for change. He won the debate .. hands down, in my opinion.

County Judge Candidates Address the Audience
Both candidates for County Judge had a chance to introduce themselves and had 5 minutes to make their case . This was NO CONTEST - the jury is back and Richard Koweek won the case! He was calm, cool, articulate, presented his case in a logical, factual manner; he looked like a judge and sounded like a judge. Cozzolino was lackluster at best and she sounded totally unprepared.
For more on the debate see Register-Star 
See also Candidate profiles in Columbia Paper and Register-Star