2012 election: California primary
California: Tomorrow is the primary election in California. In the state's judicial elections, only candidates for the Superior Courts compete in the primary. Furthermore, incumbent judges running for re-election only appear on the ballot if she or he is being challenged by an opponent. This means that tomorrow Californians will inadvertently reelect hundreds of judges without casting a single vote.
This is why judges have terms expiring across the state, but only 20 counties will have judicial primary races on their ballots. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary, she or he is elected judge. If more than two candidates compete for a seat, the two who receive the most votes advance to the general election.
- Superior Court of Alameda County: Three non-incumbents are competing for the opportunity to succeed Carl W. Morris. They are Tara M. Flanagan, Catherine Haley and Andrew R. Wiener.
- Superior Court of Amador County: Jeffrey D. Seaton and Steve Hermanson are running against one another to follow David S. Richmond.
- Superior Court of El Dorado County: Warren C. Stracener has drawn two challengers in his first election to the court. He was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010; winning this election is a condition of keeping his seat. Stephen W. Valentine and Joseph Hoffman, meanwhile, are hoping to take it instead.
- Superior Court of Imperial County: In Imperial County, three incumbents are being challenged for their seats. For Office 1, Judge Juan Ulloa will face Marco Rodriguez. For Office 3, Judge Diane B. Altamirano will face William D. Quan. For Office 4, Judge Ruth Bermudez Montenegro will face Brooks Anderholt.
- Superior Court of Kings County: Incumbent Judge George Orndoff is being challenged by Jennifer Lee Giuliani.
- Superior Court of Los Angeles County: There are seven contested races for the court in Los Angeles County.
- Office 3 - There are five candidates for this office. Sean D. Coen, Shannon Knight, Laurence N. Kaldor, Craig Gold and Joe Escalante will compete.
- Office 10 - Judge Sanjay T. Kumar is being challenged by Kim Smith.
- Office 38 - Judge Lynn D. Olson is being challenged by Douglas W. Weitzman.
- Office 43 - Judge Malcolm H. Mackey will compete against Robert M. Ross.
- Office 65 - Andrea C. Thompson and Matt Schonbrun are competing for the seat.
- Office 78 - Judge James D. Otto is being challenged by Kenneth R. Hughey.
- Office 114 - Berj Parseghian, Eric Harmon and Ben M. Brees are competing for a seat on the court.
- Superior Court of Madera County: Brian Austin is challenging incumbent Judge Joseph A. Soldani in the primary election on June 5.
- Superior Court of Marin County: Incumbent James T. Chou is being challenged by attorney Russell K. Marne.
- Superior Court of Nevada County: Judge Thomas M. Anderson will face a challenge from George J. Smyrnos.
- Superior Court of Orange County: The one race in Orange County is for Office 1 on the court. Judge Deborah J. Chuang will face challenger Eugene Jizhak.
- Superior Court of Placer County: Judges Joseph O'Flaherty and Robert P. McElhany are retiring from the court at the end of the year. Garen Horst and Suzanne Gazzaniga are running unopposed to succeed the judges. 
- Superior Court of Riverside County: In Riverside County, there are four contested judicial races this year. All four have opponents challenging sitting judges, and have been contentious campaigns full of personal attacks. (For more on the tone of the judicial campaigns in the county, read: MyDesert.com, "Riverside County judicial elections show system in turmoil," June 3, 2012.)
- For Office 1, Thomas K. Eckhardt is challenging incumbent Victoria E. Cameron. For Office 2, incumbent James A. Cox is being challenged by Michael J. Kennedy. Judge Craig Riemer will face John A. Henry for Office 9, while Judge Gary B. Tranbarger will have a challenger in Richard T. Nixon.
- Superior Court of Sacramento County: Judge Tami R. Bogert was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2010. She will be challenged in the primary by Keven Star.
- Superior Court of San Diego County: There will be three contested races for the court in 2012. Terrie Eileen Roberts and David Berry will compete for Office 24. Daniel C. Zolezzi, George F. Schaefer, Jim Miller and Robert Amador are competing for Office 25. For Office 34, Gary G. Kreep and Garland Peed will compete.
- Superior Court of Santa Clara County: There will be two contested races in Santa Clara County in 2012. Alexis Cerul, Chris Cobey, Paul Colin and Kirsten Anne Komoroske are competing for Office 5. For Office 7, Cynthia A. Sevely and Steven R. Pogue will compete.
- Superior Court of Sutter County: In Sutter County, nine individuals are competing to succeed Judge H. Ted Hansen. They are: Al J. Carrion, John M. Edwards, Sarah Heckman, Mike Johnston, Nancy A. Southworth, Richard Stout, Michael J. Sullinger, Michael Trezza and Jud Waggoman. This is the first open seat up for election on the Sutter County Superior Court in the last twenty-five years. 
- Superior Court of Tuolumne County: Gregory Oliver is challenging Judge Eleanor Provost for Office 1, while Alex Aretakis is challenging Judge Donald I. Segerstrom, Jr. for Office 2.
- Superior Court of Ventura County: Judge Harry J. Walsh is being challenged by Bradley G. Bjelke in the primary election.
- Superior Court of Yolo County: There are three offices up for election in 2012; the seats of Daniel P. Maguire, David W. Reed and David Rosenberg. Challenger Clint Parish is also running for the court.
- Superior Court of Yuba County: The race in Yuba County has three attorneys competing for the seat of retiring Judge Dennis J. Buckley. Either Courtney McAlister, Julius M. Engel or Benjamin Wirtschafter will be the next judge in the county.
For more information, visit:
- California judicial elections, 2012 - Superior Courts (A-P)
- California judicial elections, 2012 - Superior Courts (R-Y)
|This article was written by Katy Farrell, the Editor of Judgepedia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.|