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Lansing judge enters race for Tompkins County Court

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  • Staff Report 

Lansing Town Judge Maura Kennedy-Smith has announced her candidacy for the Tompkins County Court judge position. If elected, she would become the second woman in the county’s history to hold this role, following Judge Betty Friedlander who retired in 1993 after 17 years of service.

The Ithaca Voice reports, Kennedy-Smith, a resident of Lansing with her husband and two children, has been serving as the town’s justice since 2019. Her campaign comes after a brief run for the same position in 2019, which she withdrew from after reaching an agreement with Scott Miller, then a City of Ithaca Court Judge.


The vacancy for the Tompkins County Court seat was recently opened following Judge John Rowley’s resignation, effective March 1, after 23 years in the position. Rowley, who was first elected in 2001, had previously served as a judge for the Ithaca City Court.

The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, with Tompkins County judges elected for 10-year terms, mainly overseeing family law cases.