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ERIE COUNTY Family Court incumbent Michael A. Battle, 41, again faces his September primary opponent, Michael Daumen. The News endorsed Battle before and does so again for the general election.

A former assistant state attorney general and assistant United States attorney in both the criminal and civil divisions, he also has been a federal public defender and Legal Aid attorney. He augments his thorough legal knowledge with a long history of community work with young people.

Battle's opponent, Michael P. Daumen, 50, a confidential law clerk in Family Court since 1981, certainly knows the court. But he lacks Battle's breadth and insight.

Both men were rated "well qualified" by the Erie County Bar Association. After the September primaries, Daumen is left with the Conservative Party line while Battle has Republican, Democratic, Independence, Liberal and Freedom.

County Court: No endorsement

Incumbent Michael L. D'Amico, 51, has a solid courtroom reputation, but his 1994 encounter with undercover police in a park known for lewd activity by males leaves a serious cloud. His challenger, Jacqueline Mattina, 35, lacks the qualifications to sit on the bench.

The Bar Association deemed D'Amico "qualified," its lowest positive rating. It gave Mattina "not recommended," a rare negative. The News, regretting that voters are not offered a better choice, declined to endorse either candidate in the primaries and does so again now.

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