Who Will Be the Next Westchester DA?

Three Westchester residents are officially vying to take over Janet DiFiore’s recently vacated spot.

When Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore became chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals last month, she made history as only the second woman to hold the title of chief judge in New York. She also left a vacancy that could quickly become crowded with a number of hopeful candidates seeking to replace her.

While the presidential election will obviously be the biggest battle this November, the DA election could also prove an interesting contest. The Republican and Democratic parties are expected to nominate their respective candidates by the end of April; and primary elections would take place in September.

Here, a rundown of the current candidates:

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• New Rochelle resident and Republican Mitch Benson is a 56-year-old Nassau County prosecutor who recently announced his candidacy. He quit his position to run for the DA role, and recently told The Journal News that his career as a prosecutor has given him the managerial and trial experience to lead the office. “This is what I’ve been doing for 30 years… The public is receptive to someone who’s qualified, has experience and knows what they’re doing. The opportunity is there for me,” he said.
• Fellow Republican and former Westchester prosecutor Bruce Bendish has also announced his desire to be the next DA—and he is expected to formally kick off his campaign this week. The 69-year-old White Plains resident and long-time criminal defense attorney served as DiFiore’s supervisor as homicide chief in the 1980s. Bendish spent nearly 20 years in the US Army Reserves, and holds degrees from Villanova University and St John’s University.
• The only Democrat that has officially thrown a hat into the ring is George Fufidio, also a former Westchester prosecutor.  The criminal defense lawyer and Eastchester resident also served as Deputy Bureau Chief of the Homicide and Special Investigations Bureau in the District Attorney’s office. On his campaign website, Fufidio says, “I have spent my entire career working in Westchester’s criminal justice system as a prosecutor and defense attorney. I know what works well and what we can do better to serve and protect our citizens. I pledge to be an honest, fair and respectful public servant who will listen to and represent the People of Westchester County.”

For more information, visit:

Bruce Bendish – www.votebendishda.com

George Fufidio – www.fufidiofordistrictattorney.com

Mitch Benson – www.mitchbensonforda.com

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