Denise Watson

Denise Watson, Family Court Judge candidate

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Denise Watson will appear on the Republican, Conservative and Independence ballot lines in the November 8, 2011 election.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I grew up in the Town of Poughkeepsie and my family is fourth generation Dutchess County residents. I attended Our Lady of Lourdes High School and went on to get a B.A. from Boston College in 1979. I moved to St. Louis, Missouri after college and graduated from St. Louis University School of Law with a juris doctorate degree in 1982. I married my husband Patrick in 1980. We moved back to New York in 1989 and have lived in the City of Poughkeepsie since then. We have four children, James, Cal, Sarah and Matthew. I have been active at Holy Trinity Parish in Poughkeepsie, have served on the Parish council, as well as been President of the Home School Association at Holy Trinity School. I also sit on the alumni association at Our Lady of Lourdes High School and am currently on the Board of Directors at Catharine Street Community Center. Over the past few years, I have been a committee member on the City of Poughkeepsie Republican Committee and the Poughkeepsie Women’s Republican Club of Dutchess County.

I have practiced law both in the private sector and in the government for over thirty years. I have experience in the fields of labor, municipal, probate, residential real estate and family law.

What experience and/or training has prepared you to serve in the position you seek?

Having worked in Family Court as a court attorney to Hon. Peter M. Forman exclusively for the past twelve years, I am passionate about the work done there to protect families and children within our community. Over the years, I have served on a variety of committees dedicated to children and families in crisis. Chosen to be part of the treatment court teams presided over by Judge Forman in both the Family Treatment Court (working with families who have had their children removed as a result of their neglect due to substance abuse) and Youth Treatment Court (working with juveniles with a history of substance abuse), I have had the opportunity to receive extensive training in the area of substance abuse sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department. This combination of community involvement and training has provided me with unique insight into resources available to improve the quality of life for these families and the opportunity for them to succeed within our community to become contributing members. I have been found “Well Qualified” by the Dutchess County Bar Association and “Qualified” by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission.

Why should Red Hook voters select you on Election Day?

Voters should pick me on election day because I am the most experienced and qualified individual to serve on the bench in Dutchess County Family Court. I have spent years working within our community, building relationships with various service agencies that work with the population in Family Court and understanding the issues that we see there. I have a keen interest in helping families at a time when they are in crisis and holding individuals accountable for the choices they make. I look forward to serving our county residents.

For more information about Denise Watson, visit her web site at

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