Culver City Attorney Elected Court Commissioner

The MetNews is reporting that “… Culver City attorney Brenda Penny has been elected a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner, Presiding Judge David Wesley informed judicial officers Friday… Penny, a former probate attorney for the court, was elected in balloting by the court’s judges. She was the highest-ranked candidate on the list of those nominated by a panel of judges. 
 
But ongoing budget cuts impacted the move. The MetNews report notes that “… the court has had a commissioner post open since David Cowan was recently appointed a judge. Electing a commissioner to fill the opening means that the post will not be converted to a judgeship.”
 

Still Undecided? LAT Endorsements

Still undecided on today’s judicial election vote? For what it’s worth, here are the Los Angeles Times endorsements:
 
Office 22: Pamala Matsumoto
Office 48: Charles M. Calderon
Office 54: Debra L. Losnick
Office 61: Jacqueline Lewis
Office 76: Alison Matsumoto Estrada
Office 87: Andrew M. Stein
Office 97: Songhai “Sunny” Armstead
Office 107: Emma Castro
Office 113: Stacy Wiese
Office 117: James B. Pierce
Office 138: Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong
Office 157: Andrew Cooper
 
You can see more of the Times recommendations here: June 3 primary election: The Times recommends

L.A. Times Outlines June 3 Judicial ‘Races’

The Los Angeles Times newspaper is outlining the June 3 election options while noting that early voting actually began May 5. The paper notes the non-race nature of the process, reporting that “… dozens of Los Angeles Superior Court judges also are up for reelection this year, but, with one exception, their names won’t be on the ballot and they can be considered reelected because no challengers filed to run against them… but the ballot will include one sitting judge and his challenger, plus candidates vying to succeed 13 judges who declined to run for reelection. In three of those races, only a single candidate filed to run in each, so those races are essentially decided, even though voters will see those three candidates’ names on the ballot.”
 
Got it? Good. Oh, and also from the Times, “… in 10 other races, voters must choose among candidates vying to be elected to judicial seats. Of those, eight will be wrapped up in June because they feature only two candidates each, virtually guaranteeing that one will win a majority. In the two races with three candidates, November runoffs are possible.”
 
Check out the story and find a link to endorsements here: FAQs: The Times’ endorsement process for the June 3 elections

MetNews Continues Judicial Election Profiles

 
The Metropolitan News-Enterprise is continuing its 2014 Los Angeles Superior Court judicial election coverage with interesting profiles in one of the year’s more interesting races: Charles M. Calderon vs. Carol Rose. He is a former state lawmaker who served as a majority leader in both the state Senate and Assembly and she has not sought public office before.
 
Calderon belongs to one of the state’s political families, but his brothers – state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon and former Assemblyman Tom Calderon – are under indictment on corruption charges. In the odd judicial elections, a key is the three-word “occupation” description and Rose, a deputy district attorney, is running as “Child Molestation Prosecutor.” Calderon is running as “Retired Lawmaker Assemblyman.”
 
The MetNews even makes sense of how the ongoing controversy might sway how important “slate” coalitions are formed. The election is June 3 and you can see the excellent MetNews coverage here.

2014 L.A.S.C. Elections Featuring D.A. Hopefuls

It seems another member of the District Attorney team might be headed to the bench, or at least to the ballot. The MetNews is reporting that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph E. DiLoreto has indicated that he will not seek reelection, and has endorsed Deputy District Attorney Christopher J. Frisco to fill his upcoming vacancy.
 
In the L.A. courts community, such an “endorsement” can be a virtual hand-off, but this year some groups are whispering about breaking with tradition and pushing for new judicial blood. Until that happens, we can expect candidates to continue to announce in order to let potential opponents know they have the “insider” status. The MetNews, which BTW is the leader in court election coverage by a long shot, notes that Frisco’s “… campaign advisor and treasurer is David L. Gould, a consultant who is also advising other judicial aspirants in the District Attorney’s Office, including Andrew Cooper, Alison Matsumoto Estrada, Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong, and Stacy Okun-Wiese.”
 

For more about the election, and other candidates, check out the report here.

2014 Judicial Election Cycle Gets Started

We don’t yet know how many Los Angeles Superior Court judgeships will be up for election next year, but at least four candidates are hoping to take the familiar path from the District Attorney office to the bench. From various reports and announcements, they include Alison Matsumoto Estrada, Stacy Okun-Wiese, Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong and Andrew Cooper.
 
Typically, judicial careers in L.A. Superior Court begin with an appointment by the governor and few judges face contested elections. Some critics have suggested this is because the “culture” is that anyone challenging a seated judge can face negative reactions in court, both from that judge and even others. The early announcements for next year’s race suggest a more robust election cycle, and budget challenges are already a top issue.
 
Read about Andrew Cooper at MetNews here and about the other three candidates and find some campaign links here.