Christopher Aldrich, Guilderland judge candidate
Republican Christopher Aldrich ran for town justice four years ago, against Denise Randall, and was not successful.
He said he decided to run again because of the third judge spot.
“There are no incumbents for that position,” he said, giving him a better chance.
Aldrich received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Union College, and obtained his law degree from Hofstra University, after which he began practicing in Long Island.
He worked in private practice for a short while, before he got a job in the 26th District Court. He said he worked his way up to become the supervisor of law attorneys, before deciding he wanted to move back to the Albany area, and get a job in the Albany City Court.
Aldrich moved to Guilderland with his family in 2002, and has been working in both the civil and criminal courts in Albany since then.
He said he thought there were several reasons the Guilderland Town Court was experiencing overcrowding, including the lack of staggering appearance times, the inability to plead down driving while intoxicated cases, and the lack of youth court.
Aldrich said the court should make appearances for different types of cases returnable on different nights — one night specifically for traffic tickets, another for small claims, and another for criminal cases.
“The way it is right now, people are waiting for several hours before their case is called, which doesn’t make much sense to me,” he said.
The district attorney’s office disallows pleading down DWI cases, he said, which creates hearings and trials that weren’t always necessary in the past.
“We need to have more nights of court,” said Aldrich. “We need a new night for trials and hearings, which would get rid of the backlog fairly quickly.”
With three judges and only one courtroom, Aldrich said it would be worthwhile to look at an alternate location, such as Crossgates Mall, or a separate youth court.
“I work as a youth mentor in my church,” he said, “and I think it is important to try to work something out outside the confines of the court system so these kids don’t have a record.”
Aldrich said his focus has always been on community and public service, and that he enjoys using his experience and abilities to help the community.
“I’ve worked hard on getting the city court running smoothly,” he said. “I think I’d do a good job as a judge in the town court.”