Cayuga County Surrogate Judge Mark Fandrich will not seek a third term on the bench this year.
Fandrich announced Tuesday that he's decided against running for reelection for the 10-year term, which he would not have been able to complete because of the state's mandatory retirement law for state judges. Fandrich said he will be turning 67 at the end of his current term this year, and mandatory retirement age in New York is 70.
In Cayuga County, the elected surrogate judge also serves as a "multi-bench" judge in the county, handling Cayuga County criminal and family court matters along with state Supreme Court cases.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of Cayuga County as judge," Fandrich said in a press release. "Serving as a multi-bench judge, I have handled matters ranging from adoptions to murders. The work has been challenging and rewarding.”
Fandrich won his first judicial race in 2001, replacing former Judge Robert Contiguglia, who retired that year. He won a second term in 2011 running unopposed and as the endorsed candidate for all of the major political parties. He had prior elected office experience as an Auburn city councilor from 1990 to 1994. Prior to running for judge, he served as Cayuga County Republican Committee chair.
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A native of Auburn, Fandrich graduated from Colgate University in 1977 and Albany Law School in 1980. He worked as a legislative aide in the office of then-Assemblyman L.S. Riford during his time in college and law school. After earning his law degree, he returned to Auburn to work as an associate and eventually become a partner in the firm of Karpinski, Stapleton, and Fandrich.
In his announcement, Fandrich said he plans to travel and enjoy more time with family, which includes his wife, Jill, three grown children and two grandsons.