Mark Cunningham announced his candidacy for Stockton Town Justice last week as the only endorsed candidate on the Republican and Conservative party lines.
He is also in the primary on the Independence Party, as well as running unopposed on the Working Families and Green parties.
Cunningham, who resides with his wife, Tera, and daughters Gabrielle and Gianna in the former Childs Farm residence on Cassadaga-Stockton Road, possesses a bachelor's degree in political science obtained in 1998 from SUNY Brockport and is currently employed by the Cattaraugus County Office of the Public Defender.
The candidate has been qualified as an expert witness in both state and family courts; a private investigator and investigative consultant doing business as Gray Ghost Investigation; is a veteran of close to 20 felony trials, including multiple homicide cases through jury verdict decision where he has personally sat alongside counsel to provide assistance; and a veteran of over two dozen misdemeanor trials, in which he also has personally assisted counsel at the table.
The author and publisher of several articles relating to fraud investigation both locally and nationally, Cunningham's qualifications for the position of justice also include spending at least 15 hours per week in county, city and town justice courtrooms assisting hands-on with trial proceedings.
He has been retained to investigate a notable capital murder case and is qualified as an advanced-level investigator by the National Defender Investigator Association.
Cunningham, on a routine basis, is consulted by top attorneys in four counties throughout Western New York for his expertise on case strategy and investigative practices.
In his current positions with the county justice system, Cunningham has helped draft and hold the line on an almost $1 million budget for 10 consecutive years.
A native of Westfield and an alumnus of Westfield Academy and Central School, the candidate also operates the Weimaraner Rescue of the North dog rescue with his wife, Tera, which rehabilitates dogs coming out of kill shelters, both physically and socially, and spares them from unnecessary euthanasia, allowing them to be placed in a forever home.
Cunningham is a proud member of the Sons of American Legion, Cassadaga Post 1280; the National Rifle Association; Ducks Unlimited; is an avid sportsman/outdoorsman; as well as past Board of Directors' member for the Chautauqua County Bird Dog Association; and a former National Editor for the National Defender Investigator Association's nationally published newsletter, Eagle's Eye.
Cunningham summed up his desire to serve the community by stating, "Judge Barber has operated his court beyond reproach for the past 30 years. With my experience, I will continue the rich tradition that he has set. I have my finger on the pulse of the current issues facing the local courts. I will provide a seamless transition. My father once told me, 'Give back more than you take.' I am a contributing member of the community where my wife and I are raising our family, and it would be my pleasure to serve the great residents of the town of Stockton. I would be honored to have your vote in the primary elections on Sept. 10."