A third candidate has tossed his hat into the ring in the race for the Town of Porter Justice, which will be decided in this November’s election.

Ernest Lavigueur, a member of the Porter-on-the-Lake Park Committee and a former Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputy, joins Arthur Casilio, a former Falls Police Lieutenant, and incumbent Walter Holmes in the search for the four-year term seat.

“During my career I treated everybody fairly, I believe,” Lavigueur said. “I’ve been involved in interviews with people and I have an indication to a person’s credibility when they tell a story.”

There are two justice seats in Porter. The other, held by Judge David Truesdale, isn’t up for election until November 2009.

Lavigueur, who’s lived in Porter since 1979, spent 35 years in the Sheriff’s Department, including time with the Niagara County Drug Task Force and other initiatives. He graduated from Niagara University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

After his retirement, Lavigueur said he was seeking a way to give back to the community utilizing his skills as a law enforcement officer.

“I’m going to be completely impartial,” he said. “I think I’m qualified in the sense that over the years I’ve dealt with the courts and I know what’s involved and I know what it means.”

Lavigueur, a Democrat, has been endorsed by the town and county Democratic committees. All the candidates will seek the Republican, Democratic and minor party lines in the September primaries.

Lavigueur lives with his wife, Frances, son, Jonathan and father, Clarence. He’s a member of a number of police organizations in New York state and Ontario along with the Knights of Columbus Council 247.

According to a release, he was also the first officer from the United States to graduate from the Ontario Police College and arranged the sheriff’s Web site, in 1997, a site that still stands at www.ncsd.com.

Contact reporter Dan Minerat 282-2311, ext. 2263.

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