Weekly Feature

2018-02-08 / Front Page

Speyer, town’s assistant chief of police, announces judge candidacy


Speyer Speyer The town’s assistant chief of police, James Speyer Jr., is launching a campaign for a Cheektowaga town justice post, he announced Monday.

Speyer will first seek the Democratic Party’s endorsement before courting support from the Republican and minor parties, he said. He has never run for public office.

Speyer has been with the Cheektowaga Police Department for 31 years, serving as assistant chief since 2014. He began his law enforcement and criminal justice career 35 years ago as an Erie County corrections officer.

According to Speyer, he considered a run four years ago, the last time the seat was up, but decided against it, citing retirement considerations. If he wins, Speyer would retire from the Police Department.

However, the decision to pursue a justice post has been on Speyer’s mind for years, he said. He said his work in the community, both professionally — working with neighborhood watch and taxpayer groups as part of the department’s community outreach arm — and personally — as an active member of his church — would serve him behind the bench, if elected.

“I have the ability, I believe, to make wise decisions based on a big picture and still afford everybody their rights that are guaranteed to them. Everybody has those rights,” he said. “Having a legal background for 35 years, I’ve seen it from in the court, on the streets, in corrections. I’ve seen it all.”

In a statement accompanying his candidacy announcement, Speyer said public safety and residents’ interests would be his top priority, if elected, and he vowed to work diligently to ensure fair, impartial judgments.

Speyer is a lifelong town resident, who, with his wife, Donna, raised four children in Cheektowaga.

Town justice positions carry a four-year term, with residents making a decision in November.

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