Elmira, NY (WENY) --With election season right around the corner, people in Chemung county got a chance to ask the tough questions. The Elmira YWCA hosted a meet the candidate forum. Candidates from a number of races, like the the Chemung county sheriff's office made their pitches to the public. Mayor Dan Mandell spoke about his futures plans continuing to develop housing in Elmira. The surprise of the night was 3 of 5 candidates running for the states supreme court of the 6th judicial district.

5 candidates are vying for 3 spots to be the next 6th judicial district supreme court justices. The district makes up 10 counties in central new york that include, Chemung, Schuyler and Tompkins. Among the candidates 3 made their way to the heart of the district. Speaking to voters in Elmira, each had a chance to literally make their case. Among the candidates were Pete Charnetsky, Chris Baker and Claudette Newman.

“Luckily I’ve been involved in the court system for 23 years so I’m very familiar and worked in the supreme court for 19 years so i understand and have traveled throughout the district. And it it's a big area but usually a judge is assigned to a few counties.” said Newman.

“I've put 30,000 miles on my vehicle and really getting out and meeting people and the more that you meet people the more you realize how important this position is. I believe that being a judge is the highest form of public service.” said Baker.

“Having to resolve custody and visitation, it is again very stressful for both parents and being able to resolve those issues is really, helped me prepare To a career as a supreme court justice.” said Charnetsky.

The 6th district justice handles civil, surrogate, divorce and some criminal cases. All 3 spoke about the importance of remaining fair and impartial. And that judges treat every case individually. And asked why they'd be the right candidate?

“I would want them to know the importance of having judicial experience. This is a very important court for everyone and having that judicial experience is extremely important.” said Charnetsky.

“I think they should really be looking for judges with experience on the bench since it is the highest trial level court in the state of New York and experience in the supreme court and I bring both of those.” said Newman.

“If we do loose this seat we will likely never get it back and we'll have visiting judges that come in here who may not know our community, may not know the issues that face our community. so it's very important.” said Baker.

Oliver Blaise and Mark Masler round out the field as the other two candidates.