SALAMANCA — After successfully winning the primary election in June, local lawyer Matt Swenson will run unopposed for Salamanca City Court judge in November.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in that court for a number of years now, probably going on two decades,” he said. “I was very excited about the opportunity to serve.”
During his primary campaign, Swenson said he walked “nearly every city street” and spoke with many of Salamanca’s residents. He said he learned so much from those he talked to about their values, priorities, challenges and hopes.
“I believe that community members should know about their judge,” he said in June. “We cherish the Salamanca community.”
Swenson has practiced law locally at 41 Main St. in Salamanca for over 18 years, founding Brady & Swenson, P.C. with his wife, Erin. Erin’s father, Tom Brady, began his law practice at 41 Main St. nearly 45 years ago, and the family has been there ever since.
“Erin and I chose this small community over big-city life when we moved to this area in 2001, just as her parents did decades before us,” he said in June.
During his career, Swenson said he’s handled over 1,000 cases in federal, state, local and tribal courts and handled hundreds of cases in Salamanca City Court. He has also served as President of the Cattaraugus County Bar Association.
“Your job is to be fair and impartial and do everything you can to be as knowledgable about the facts of law in every case you’re involved with,” he said. “You get to see different styles and how every judge does things differently, so hopefully with the strengths that you see across the board, borrow those and do the best job that you can.”
In the community, Swenson and his business have been a big supporter of local youths, from sponsoring sports teams to volunteering at his church to awarding a public service scholarship.
“We are honored to have been able to serve and contribute to this community,” he said in June. “There is no greater reward than seeing children in this community reach their full potential and succeed.”
On the ballot in November, Swenson’s name will appear on six lines as candidate for the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Libertarian and Independence parties. In the June primary, Swenson defeated incumbent William Gabler, 509 total votes to 106.
“One of my campaign strategies was to have broad support, and a judge has to represent everybody in the community,” he said. “Judges can’t be political or wear a party hat of any kind. They have to be focused on the law and facts of every case. Really, the focus was to work with as many different parties and groups and individuals and talk to everybody.”