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Who will be the next Wayne County judge? GOP primary held Tuesday

Wayne County voters turned out today for the Republican primary election for the next county judge.

Republicans from all over Wayne cast their vote on Tuesday, June 28 for either Michele Villani, principal court attorney for outgoing county judge John Nesbitt, or former attorney and Town of Arcadia judge Art Williams.


Wayne County Republicans back Villani for county judge

Villani received the Wayne County Republican Committee’s support in February. Williams entered the race by forcing a primary election for a Republican candidate. 

The results of Tuesday’s primary will decide who the Republican candidate will be.

Once Wayne county residents vote, then they will have to come back to the polls in November to vote for the official Wayne County Judge. 

“I worked as a court attorney for Judge Nesbitt, who is one of our three county court judges here in Wayne County, at the Hall of Justice. I’ve been working for him for five years and I have previous experience in the same position for 10 years as a court attorney for Judge Serkan,” said Villani.

“Just because she had the nomination? I think the voters should the public, the Republican voters should have a choice as to who their judge candidate is going to be. And I think I’m a much more qualified candidate. So I forced the primary.” said Art Williams.

Early voting underway for first of two primaries, when and where do I vote?


“The state constitution requires that judges retire at age 70. Three of the county court judges will turn 70 this year,” said Villani. Therefore all three judges will be retiring in the next four years, leaving a large period of time for transition.

“I think I am uniquely positioned to be able to help that transition go most smoothly for his caseload because it will move on to the next judge. I’m already familiar with those cases. I feel that I can also provide stability over the next transition of the other two judges, because of the fact that I’ve been in the courthouse for 15 years,” said Villani.

“My experience is 40 years as a practicing attorney in the courtrooms of Wayne County, 26 years as a town judge. And after 40 years of lawyering, I would like to cap my career and be able to spend my remaining practicing years on the bench,” said Williams.

If Villani wins the primary, she would be the Republican candidate for the November election which will be the first election for Wayne County Judge in the past 25 years. She would also be the first female judge the county has ever seen.

“It’s really a public service job in terms of you’re working for the people of Wayne County, and I love doing that. I would love to continue to do that should I be elected. I would absolutely continue working my hardest to make sure I do a good job for the people of Wayne County,” said Villani.



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