It’s election season again, and as a lawyer practicing here in Broward for almost four decades, I always get lots of calls from family and friends wanting to know about ‘these judicial races.’
This year has been no exception because a number of sitting judges retired thereby creating open seats. Anyone who has been a lawyer five years or more can run for judge. This cycle, there are three important open seat races which will be decided on November 8, and I am writing to give you my opinion of who the best judicial candidates are.
The Judicial Candidates
Diversity is always an important issue for the bench, and Lorena Mastrarrigo is the better choice in her race. She is an immigrant from Argentina who has worked hard to achieve a good standing among the lawyers here in Broward. Please vote for her.
An even temperament is also an important quality for a judge, so Chris Brown is who I would choose in his contested race.
Finally, experience is also a key in choosing qualified jurists, and Gary Farmer has the most experience in his race, both as a lawyer and as a former state legislator, to bring to the bench.
Judicial campaigns don’t get much attention, and judicial candidates cannot talk about ‘how they would rule’ but are limited to talking about their experience and qualifications. You will not hear them talk about political issues because they are prohibited from doing so by the judicial canons.
These three candidates I have mentioned, Mastrarrigo, Brown and Farmer, are the better choices in each of their contests in my opinion. All of them received the most votes in the August primary, but because theirs were three-way races, none obtained 50+% of the votes needed to win. Hence, the run-offs. They will be located near the end of your ballot, so don’t just vote for governor or legislators, though they are important races. Persevere to the end of the ballot and vote to raise these three good candidates to the bench here in Broward.
Remember to vote! It is a precious right which we ought to cherish and exercise. Thank you!
For more on elections, check out this article: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/not-the-election-training-leaders/