WATERLOO — In a press release issued Friday, Assistant Seneca County Attorney David K. Ettman announced his candidacy for Seneca County Judge. Ettman said he publicly announced his intentions at last Tuesday’s Varick Town Board meeting.

Ettman, 60, of Varick, is a 30-year resident of Seneca County. He was appointed assistant county attorney last June.

Current Seneca County Judge Dennis Bender will retire at the end of April. The vacancy will be filled in this year’s November election.

In an email, Ettman said he intends to circulate petitions and qualify for all party lines — noting that party endorsement is not a requirement to pass petitions.

“I believe that a judge should start with the premise that the law is about justice, not politics,” he wrote. “I am confident that my message will reach the voters of Seneca County, that experience and temperament are critical to meet the obligations of the position.”

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Ettman graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., in 1979. He has a degree in economics and served in the Reserve Officer Training Corps, or ROTC.

He then attended graduate school at the University of Memphis, earning both a law and master’s of business administration degrees.

Ettman served in the Army’s Judge Advocate General service for nine years, including assignment at the former Seneca Army Depot from 1988 to 1992. He was active in the military for eight years and was a member of the Army Reserve from 1988 through 2006.

He’s been in private law practice in Seneca Falls since 1992 while also serving as town attorney in Fayette and Junius, as assistant district attorney and as assistant public defender.

He was elected Varick town justice in 2015 and ran unopposed for his second term.

In the release, Ettman cited his 34 years of courtroom experience in all facets of the law — saying he believes that makes him “the most qualified and experienced possible candidate to serve as Seneca County Judge ...”

He and his wife, Dorothea, raised three grown daughters, all of whom graduated from Romulus Central School. He was active with them in 4-H and the Girl Scouts; served on the board of directors of the United Way of Seneca County; and also served on the Romulus Education Foundation board. He and his daughter, Kelsey, also re-established the Romulus track and field program and he served as its coach for the past 15 years.

“The Seneca County Judge is a judge for all the people of Seneca County — someone trying every day to make Seneca County a better place to work, raise a family and live life to the fullest,” Ettman wrote. “The judge you elect has the obligation to know the law; to know what is just and fair; and at the bottom line, know how to dispense justice fairly, and without bias. I have the skills, the experience and the judgment to meet this obligation.”

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