CORTLANDT, N.Y.-- For 225 years, Cortlandt has not had a female judge. Shari Gordon is looking to change that.
Gordon, a Democrat, is running for town justice of Cortlandt, facing longtime incumbent Gerry Klein. Gordon believes it is time for a change, and that Cortlandt is ready for a female judge.
"There's never been a woman judge elected," Gordon said. "We need balance on the bench. Women bring in a different perspective."
Gordon has 28 years as a trial attorney, with offices in Croton, Yorktown Heights and White Plains, and is co-chair of the Families, Children and Courts of Westchester Women's Bar Association for the last eight years.
She has her own radio shown on WVOX, where she gives legal advice, often dealing with issues like domestic violence. Growing up in Putnam Valley, she has lived in Cortlandt for 15 years.
"I am very sensitive to the issues regarding our youth, particularly with drugs," Gordon said. "We need diversion programs. Jail is not always an option. I am the right person for all these things."
Gordon is also an advocate for term limits and said she would term limit herself if elected.
"I feel I would bring a fresh perspective," Gordon said. "I don't have predetermined ideas. I would look at every case on its own set of facts."
Gordon said she wants to see Cortlandt have a night court and more conferences to speed up the court process.
"I will work around the life of the community," Gordon said. "Not my life. If the police need a judge to come in the middle of the night, I'm there. The community needs a change, it needs a fresh face."
The trial lawyer says she has no bent or bias, and can remain fair and impartial. She said she is most sensitive to domestic violence, calling it her passion.
"It's become an epidemic," Gordon said.
Gordon's other volunteer work includes being program chair of the Summer Justice Academy for Young Women at Pace Law School, coaching Little League and working with the Croton Caring Committee.