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PROSECUTORS FACE OFF IN TOWN JUSTICE CONTESTS

Eden's two town prosecutors are locked in a competitive race for town justice, with each trying to grab at all party lines in Tuesday's primary.

Timothy J. Walker is emphasizing his diverse law background, while R. Colin Campbell is pitching his hometown commitment as well as legal experience.

Walker, town prosecutor since 1996, has worked as a trial attorney on civil and criminal cases for more than 10 years.

The race to succeed Town Justice Richard L. Harman, who is retiring is his first run for office. He is endorsed by the Republican, Independence and Right to Life parties.

Campbell, also a trial attorney, was appointed in 1998 to share the town prosecutor duties with Walker.

Having lost in two previous attempts to unseat Harman, he is waging his third campaign and has the endorsements of the Democratic and Conservative parties.

Both are are vying for the party nods they lack.

Walker said he wants to develop a youth court, coordinated with neighboring communities, and favors the Town Court's recent decision to start assigning community service to underage teen-agers caught drinking instead of just fining them.

"If you fine a 14-year-old or 15-year-old kid, who pays for it? Mom and Dad. If you give 20 to 25 hours of community service, they have time to think about it," Walker said. "The judges and prosecutors need to do more than just dole out fines and give them a criminal record."

Campbell emphasized his community involvement and said his professional experience makes him better suited to be town justice. "I think that equivalent of experience is very helpful to making a good justice," he said.

"We've been fortunate to have a long tradition of good justices in this town. And I think that needs to continue," Campbell said.

He declined to discuss key legal issues in the race, citing a professional code of conduct.

Campbell, an Eden native, is a member of the Committee on Practice and Procedure in Justice Courts through the Erie County Bar Association and is attorney adviser for the Eden Central mock trial team.

He is active in the Eden Chamber of Commerce and Eden Historic Review Board, and coaches youth soccer.

Walker is secretary of the Western New York United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse Foundation, an instructor for Junior Achievement of Western New York and a member of the Eden Chamber of Commerce.

He has worked on Celebrate Eden and has been active in the Eden Athletic Association and Eden WinterFest.

Both candidates are active in several professional law organizations and the Erie County Bar Association.

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