Jim Ritts received endorsement in his run for Ontario County district attorney

Jim Ritts, Ontario County first assistant district attorney, announced Thursday he has the support of the New York State Police Investigators Association in his run for Ontario County district attorney.

The association represents more than 2,000 active and retired members of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, including many in this region, Ritts stated in a release with the NYSPIA endorsement letter attached.

Ritts, a Republican, announced his candidacy in March for the district attorney seat. His announcement came shortly after District Attorney Michael Tantillo announced his retirement after nearly 30 years in the position. Former prosecutor, attorney Kristina “Kitty” Karle, who practices in Rochester and Canandaigua, announced her candidacy in April for the position. Karle is also a Republican.

In the endorsement letter for Ritts, NYSPIA President Christopher Quick and Troop E Delegate Robert Klinkman stated, “hard work and fairness distinguished you from others while pursuing justice with ultimate integrity.” They noted Ritts’ “years of experience practicing the multiple arenas of law, positive involvement in the community and family commitment are qualities that set you apart from others as the best qualified candidate for Ontario County District Attorney."

The Police Investigators Association also stated that it has “great confidence in your ability and foresight” and offered their “full support and assistance in your candidacy.”

In response, Ritts stated, “I’m honored and humbled to have the support of the State Police Investigators Association. These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect Ontario County and all of New York State. They know better than anyone why it’s important to have the right person serving in the critical role of District Attorney.”

Ritts stated he has worked closely with the State Police and other law enforcement agencies while serving as first assistant district attorney over the last year, and during his entire 18-year tenure with the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office. Ritts has been responsible first-hand for handling all aspects of prosecutions locally, including investigations, trials and felony prosecutions in County Court. He has handled cases involving murder, drug offenses, child abuse and sexual assault, among others, he stated.

“I’ve been on the front lines right here in Ontario County because this community truly means the world to me and my family,” Ritts added. “I’m ready to bring this experience to deliver for the people of Ontario County as the new leader of the District Attorney’s Office.”

Ritts stated that in addition to his two decades in the D.A.’s office, he has volunteered as chairman of the Child Advocacy Center of the Finger Lakes, as a Sunday school teacher, as a member of Kiwanis and Rotary, and as a longtime youth sports coach and booster.

The primary election will be on Tuesday, Sept. 12, followed by the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Political Roundup, a clearinghouse of announcements and developments in local politics, runs on Fridays in the Daily Messenger. To submit an item for consideration, email senior reporter Julie Sherwood at jsherwood@messengerpostmedia.com.