GOP Candidate Defends Second Career As Radio Host
There's only one probate judge race in Connecticut this election cycle but it's shaping up to be a good one between a successful talk-radio host and a well-known divorce attorney.
And neither is too shy about pointing out the other's perceived flaws.
Lisa Wexler, despite a nearly 30-year legal career, may be best known for her daily talk-radio show on WFAS-AM, a Westchester County, N.Y., station with many Connecticut listeners. She is the Republican candidate.
Kieran Costello, of Costello & McCormack in Fairfield, is the Democrat in the race. His practice focuses primarily on matrimonial and probate matters.
The two candidates are squaring off in a year with no other probate races because Kevin O'Grady, the current probate judge for the Westport and Weston district, forced to step down for health reasons. O'Grady, a Democrat who has served as the district's probate judge since 1999, has been on a medical leave of absence for the past two years.
"I am afraid my health has continued to deteriorate, and it would now appear that I will not be able to return to my post," O'Grady said in an April letter to state Probate Court Administrator Paul Knierim.
The winner of next month's election will fill the remaining year left in O'Grady's term and must run again in November 2014 for a full, four-year term to stay in the post. Both Costello and Wexler have indicated they would seek a full term if successful next month.
Costello has practiced law for the past 21 years and has been an adjunct professor for the past 19 years at Housatonic Community College.
During the campaign, Costello has stressed his community roots. He said he has been devoted to providing free legal assistance to seniors, women and children, and has expressed pride in his volunteer work at Fairfield Community Services, the Domestic Violence Crisis Center of Stamford/Norwalk, and at the YWCA of Greenwich. He also has served as a member of the board of directors at the Center for Women and Families in Bridgeport, where he also continues to volunteer. And he is an active in the Connecticut Bar Association.
A point of debate has been Wexler's commitment to the state's legal community. Costello initially contended that Wexler wasn't a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, but she has since proven otherwise. But Costello hasn't backed away from making Wexler's experience an issue.