JP Election Brief: Coast to coast coverage
- 1 June 21, 2012
- 2 Filing deadline
- 3 Highlight a Race
- 4 In the News
- 5 Are you running for election?
- 6 References
by: the State Court Staff
The next deadline for judicial elections is the filing deadline for Michigan Supreme Court candidates on July 5th. This year, the major parties selected their candidates early in an attempt to get a jump on the campaign. The Republican nominees for the court are Stephen Markman, Colleen O'Brien and Jane Markey. They will compete against Democratic nominees Shelia Johnson, Connie Marie Kelley and Bridget McCormack. The six candidates are competing for three seats, only one of which is currently held by an incumbent (that of Justice Markman).
Highlight a Race
The dynamic of Jefferson County's Circuit 10 Place 11 race has changed substantially in the last week. Candidate Chuck Hunter was removed from the ballot by the Alabama Republican Party after he was arrested for allegedly traveling to meet a child for a sexual act and soliciting the act electronically. Both of those charges are felonies, and if found guilty, could carry a punishment of up to 40 years in prison. 
In an official statement, they said, "The Alabama Republican Party strongly condemns the activities in which Mr. Hunter allegedly engaged." GOP spokesperson also said that Hunter had demonstrated "previous support of candidates and issues in opposition to the values of the Republican Party."
Now, the GOP has the option of whether to support a different candidate for the general election. The deadline for a new candidate to join the race is July 19th, but officials are set to meet tomorrow to discuss options. Hunter intended to challenge incumbent Judge Houston Brown, who is the Democratic nominee for the position. If the Republicans decide not to nominate a candidate, Brown will run unopposed for re-election.
In the News
Washington Supreme Court candidates collecting endorsements
Incumbent Justice Susan Owens has reported endorsements by the Washington State Labor Council, the Washington chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus, the Washington State Troopers Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 483, and all eight justices currently sitting on the Washington Supreme Court. In addition, Justice Owens has been endorsed by various judges and citizens from throughout the state.
Late last month, incumbent Justice Steven Gonzalez was endorsed by the Association of Washington Business. Justice Gonzalez has also been endorsed by the Washington State Council of Firefighters, numerous trade unions, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, the Seattle Building Trades Council, the Teamsters Locals, and the Teamsters Joint Council, in addition to present and past judges from all over Washington.
Candidate Bruce Hilyer was endorsed in his Supreme Court bid this week by The Seattle Times. He has also received the endorsement of the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association, the King County Police Officers Guild, the King County Corrections Guild, the Washington State Labor Council, and the Council of Metropolitan Police and Sheriffs, in addition to the Associated General Contractors of Washington and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.
The American Federation of Teachers, the Black Collective, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, the Retired Public Employees Council, the Washington State Labor Council, and various other Democratic groups have all endorsed another candidate, John Ladenburg.
Sheryl McCloud, also competing for Position 9, has been endorsed by the King County Democratic Central Committee, the King County Young Democrats, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and various Democratic groups from around the state. She has also been approved by the Kitsap County Democrats.
Candidate and former state Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders was endorsed by the Association of Washington Business in late May. In addition, the Washington Realtors, the Washington Rental Housing Association, the Associated General Contractors, the Gun Owners Action League, the NRA, the Washington State Republican Party, and Representative Ron Paul have endorsed Sanders.
All four candidates for Position 9 have also been endorsed by various judges and attorneys from across the state of Washington.
For more information, visit: Washington judicial elections, 2012.
Georgia voter registration deadline fast approaching
July 2nd is the deadline to register to vote in Georgia's July 31st primary election. This is especially important in regards to judicial selection, as judges will only run in the primary this year and not in the November 6th general election. If a runoff is required after the July primary to settle a race, judges will compete in a primary election runoff in August.
Voter registration forms can be found on the Georgia Secretary of State website, in local libraries, at your county voter registration office, and at other sites around the community. Once registered check out your local slate of candidates on Judgepedia's 2012 Georgia election pages.
Three enter the race for vacancy on Montana Justice Court
The resignation of Kathleen Jensen from the Cascade County Justice Court has left a vacancy that will need to be filled. Three candidates have filed to run for the opening. Public Defender Krishna Nandlal, City Commissioner Mary Jolley, and Court Bailiff Eric Bailey will face off in this November's election.
For the time being David Wilkins serves as an Interim Justice of the Peace until the new judge is elected.
Mississippi Secretary of State works to give voters ID cards
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has a new project: making sure everyone has a state-issued photo ID before this year's elections. A constitutional amendment to require voters to show a photo ID at the polls was approved by 62% of voters last year, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Bryant. The last step before the requirement becomes law is approval by the federal government. Such approval is required by the 1965 Voting Rights Act to make sure states don't discriminate against minorities.
The state will be giving away photo ID's for free, as well as providing transportation to pick them up, if needed. However, the cards will not be issued until the federal government approves the new law. "We want to ensure everyone who needs a voter ID receives one when the requirement is approved," Hosemann stated.
Supporters of the new law say that it prevents voter fraud. Opponents are worried that it could dissuade some elderly people and minorities from voting.
Are you running for election?
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- The Birmingham News, "Alabama GOP votes to rescind nomination for Jefferson County judicial candidate Chuck Hunter," June 15, 2012
- The Birmingham News, "Alabama GOP to decide Friday if arrested former judicial candidate will be replaced," June 18, 2012
- Re-Elect Justice Susan Owens campaign website, Endorsements
- Association of Washington Business, "AWB endorses Supreme Court candidates," May 29, 2012
- Retain Justice Steve Gonzalez campaign website, Endorsements
- Seattle Times, "The Times recommends: Judge Bruce Hilyer for state Supreme Court," June 19, 2012
- Bruce Hilyer for Supreme Court campaign website, Endorsements
- John Ladenburg for Washington State Supreme Court campaign website, Endorsements
- Sheryl Gordon McCloud for Supreme Court campaign website, Endorsements
- Re-Elect Justice Richard Sanders campaign website, Endorsements
- The Times-Herald, "Deadline approaches to register for July 31 election," June 16, 2012
- KRTV, "3 candidates apply for Justice of the Peace position," Jun 16, 2012
- Greatfalls Tribune, "Jolley, Bailey file for Cascade County justice of the peace," Jun 15, 2012
- Clarion Ledger, "Mississippi counting how many lack ID under voting measure," June 18, 2012