Local lawyer Dave Ridge cruised to victory last night, getting  the top vote total in the race for two open slots on Erie County's Court of Common Pleas.

He won both party nominations in the spring primary, virtually assuring him of winning one of the two judge slots in the November general election.

But he still campaigned hard, going out working everyday. And it paid off with victory.

Ridge said his experience was a big factor.

But perhaps even more important was hard work.

He said, "Old fashioned hard work, knocking on the doors, getting people to the polls today when it was 35 degrees and raining. We had so many people out at different polling sites. And we had a good message. I have a good background of experience. I was fortunate to get the Erie County Bar Association rating. But I still knew i had to work hard and I enjoyed doing it. I think that might have been the difference."

Ridge has practiced law in Erie for more than 30 years. He says in January when he assumes his position on the bench, he will be ready from day one.