Garcia cares about the North Country

To the editor:

I write to inform your readers why they should vote for Julie Garcia for state Supreme Court justice, Fourth Judicial District, in the upcoming election on Nov. 5. Julie is a North Country native, born and raised in Essex County, and is the only candidate running — to fill one of the four Supreme Court vacancies — who lives and works in the North Country. The citizens of the northern and rural counties in this district should elect a Supreme Court justice who understands the needs and struggles that are unique to rural areas. In a district that stretches geographically from Schenectady up to the Canadian border, it makes sense to have justices on the bench who represent all areas contained in its boundaries, not just the southern counties.

Julie Garcia was the first woman ever elected as Essex County district attorney and has practiced in state and federal courts throughout this district for the last 20 years. She has been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, a representative of parties to civil proceedings, and an attorney for children who were the subject of custody and juvenile delinquency proceedings.

Her vast and varied experience are not her only qualifications for this position, however. Her character, strength, sense of self and dedication to what is right are what make her an excellent human being, and an exceptional candidate for this important job. Raised in Witherbee with her five siblings, within walking distance from the iron ore pit where her family members worked in the mines, Julie has the kind of grit and tenacity borne from an upbringing where nothing was handed to her freely, but was earned through hard work and perseverance. Her fortitude is also evident in the fact that she spent 14 years working her way through college — waitressing, bartending and working for the paper mill, among other jobs — to earn her degree in social work from Siena. Julie is the kind of person who is invigorated and called to action by the challenges she encounters, and never backs down in the face of hardship.

Julie is also a person to whom family means everything. When she was just starting her career as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, her mother and sister both tragically perished months apart, their deaths a result of their struggles with addiction. Julie’s sister left behind three children, and Julie moved back up to the North Country, obtained custody of her two young nieces and proceeded to raise them amidst the support of their surviving family members. While Julie generally does not advertise this turn of events in her life, it may indeed be the strongest testament to who she is and what she stands for.

Please consider voting for Julie Garcia for Supreme Court justice, Fourth Judicial District, this Nov. 5.

Claudia K. Braymer, Esq.

Glens Falls