Eric Schiener, Republican candidate for Livingston County district attorney, spoke to the Geneseo College Republicans at their meeting on Monday Oct. 15.
Schiener began his talk with a history of his experience as an assistant DA and then his brief career as acting DA. Since he was replaced by acting DA Greg McCaffrey, D-N.Y., this past May, Schiener has been unemployed and focusing on campaigning which, he admitted, was new to him.
“I tried to run the campaign solely on experience,” he said. “Twelve years of working within the district attorney’s office should mean something.”
He also discussed the recent Republican Party nomination, which resulted in a series of ties between himself and Steve Sessler, R-N.Y., due to miscalculated absentee votes. Schiener was declared the nominee by a small margin on Oct. 4.
“If only I had knocked on one more door, maybe this wouldn’t have been an issue,” he said.
Schiener then asked for the Geneseo College Republicans’ support for his campaign. Schiener called for students to participate in phone banks, give rides to constituents and to “get out the vote,” which is a strategy he said his competitor has fully utilized.
The group opened up the floor for students to ask Schiener questions about how to help with his campaign, the validity of his run for office and clarification on his political platform.
Schiener said he felt most passionately about cases involving violence against the most vulnerable citizens, such as children and the elderly.
“I always sought the highest charges for these [vulnerable citizens],” he said. “I have no tolerance for violators.”
Schiener said that he is “proud to have been in the first steps of developing a closer relation” with the Geneseo student body. “My goal is to find a middle ground between students and the community,” he said.
Schiener ended the visit by addressing reasons why voters should elect him, other than his experience in the DA’s office.
“I’ve worked with prosecutors for a long time; the other candidates have spent more time as defense attorneys,” he said. “The difference is that a prosecutor spends more time at the crime scene with the police and taking the 3 a.m. phone calls. I’ve done those late nights.”
Despite Schiener’s Republican Party nomination, Sessler said he plans to continue his campaign. The two Republican candidates will run against McCaffrey in the general election on Tuesday Nov. 6.
In Schiener’s closing remarks to the College Republicans, he reiterated his need for student support in his campaign.
“All of my hard work [campaigning] over the summer got me a tie,” he said. “I need help.”