It is the election season, and at this time of the year, I get lots of people calling or emailing me about ‘who these judges are’ who are running for re-election or for a judicial office the first time. Judges make it to the bench in two ways: they are appointed by a sitting Governor after being screened by a local Judicial Nominating Commission or they are elected to that position by you, the electorate. Sitting judges must run for re-election, or retention, every six years. The Code of Judicial Conduct precludes judges while campaigning are precluded from talking about how they have ruled or might rule. They can’t say much of anything except about their qualifications. They are precluded from serving on charitable boards or in certain other areas of community service, so most people don’t know or even get a chance to know a judge. Lawyers who appear before judges are often the in the best position to evaluate their qualifications and demeanor. As such, we get the calls and the emails.
Having said that and if you do not know who to vote for, here are my recommendations of who to vote for in the upcoming judicial elections:
For Circuit Court:
Group 16, Dennis Daniel Bailey; Group 18, Patti Englander Henning; Group 27, Frank David Ledee; Group 30, Dale C. Cohen; and Group 50, Linda Alley.
For County Court:
Group 22, Casey Mills; Group 27, Phoebee R. Francois; and Group 31, Natasha DePrimo.
The judicial races are non-partisan, so you don’t get the usual que of a ‘D’ or ‘R’ next to their name, and sitting judges like Bailey, Ledee, Henning or Cohen aren’t identified as incumbent.
Whoever you vote for on August 18, pray for them to be impartial, self-controlled and wise. We need this kind of people on the bench now as always. And thank you for voting!
Collins, as his friends call him, is a second generation Florida native who has been a practicing attorney for 32 years. He concentrates mainly on commercial real estate transactions and real estate litigation. He has served on the Broward County Bar Association Bench/Bar Committee for the past eight years.
For information on other candidates, please visit ivoterguide.com or cfcflorida.net – Christian Family Coalition Voter Guides.
Photo credits: Committee to Re-Elect Judge Dennis Bailey Facebook Page, judgepattihenning.com, frankledee.com, facebook.com/keepjudgecohen/, lindaaalley.com, caseymillsforjudge.com, keepjudgephoebeefrancois.com, judgenatashadeprimo.com