SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Republicans on Tuesday nominated four candidates for the four vacancies on the state Supreme Court bench in the Fifth Judicial District.

According to the Post-Standard, the GOP nominated Erin Gall of Oneida County, James McClusky of Jefferson County, Michael F. Young of Lewis County and Prescott Klosner of Herkimer County.

Gall currently serves as principal court attorney to Acting Supreme Court Justice Barry M. Donalty, a position that she has held for 12 years.

McClusky was elected to the town judge of Watertown in 2002, and won reelection in 2006 and 2010.

Young has been a practicing lawyer for 30 years, 13 of which he spent as the Lewis County Department of Social Services attorney and nine as the Lewis County District Attorney.

Klosner joined the Herkimer County District Attorney staff in 2000 and began prosecuting cases as an assistant district attorney. In 2002, he was promoted to chief assistant district attorney. Since 2002, he has served as the Village of Ilion's special prosecutor.

According to the Syracuse newspaper, McClusky also was chosen by the Conservative Party.

Like the GOP, the party selected its four nominees for the Court on Tuesday. The other three include John Stone of Onondaga County, Claudia Tenney of Oneida County and Charles Merrell of Lewis County.

The Democratic Party will hold its nominating convention Saturday, while the Independence Party will hold its Sunday, the Post-Standard reported.

In most states, a supreme court is the highest court in the state. However, the New York Supreme Court is primarily a trial court, equivalent to district courts, superior courts or circuit courts in other states. The highest court in the state is the New York State Court of Appeals.

The Fifth Judicial District is comprised of Herkimer, Lewis, Jefferson, Oneida, Oswego and Onondaga counties.

Seats in Herkimer, Lewis, Jefferson and Oneida counties are open. State Supreme Court justices are elected to 14-year terms.

Voters will held to the polls Nov. 8.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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