JP Election Brief: Florida gets ready as Alabama wraps up (and more!)
- 1 April 26, 2012
- 2 Important dates
- 3 Washington Supreme Court race
- 4 In the News
- 5 Are you running for election?
- 6 References
- May 1: Filing deadline in Michigan
Washington Supreme Court race
Richard Sanders has announced his candidacy for Position 9 on the Washington State Supreme Court, the seat currently held by Justice Tom Chambers that will be left vacant when Chambers retires later this year. Sanders will face Bruce Hilyer, John Ladenburg, and Sheryl McCloud in Washington's non-partisan primary election on August 7, 2012. If any one candidate receives over 50% of the vote, that candidate will be the new justice. If no candidate receives over 50% of the vote, the top two vote recipients will face each other in a runoff in the general election on November 6, 2012.
Sanders's candidacy for a position on the state's highest court is of particular interest because it is a position he has held before. He served as a Washington Supreme Court justice from 1995 to 2010, when he was defeated by a narrow margin in his bid for reelection by current Justice Charlie Wiggins, earning 49.66% of the vote to Wiggins's 50.34%. It remains to be seen whether Sanders's libertarian-leaning platform of protection of the individual rights of private citizens will appeal to the state's voters this time around.
To learn more about Sanders' 2010 reelection race, read: Wiggins pulls ahead in close Supreme Court race, November 12, 2010.
In the News
Primary runoff results
In the last week, primary runoff elections were held in Alabama and Louisiana.
This Tuesday, April 24, Alabama held its primary runoff election. In races where no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the race automatically goes to a runoff. There, the top two contenders compete in a fresh election. Five such races took place on Tuesday; four for the Circuit Court and one District Court. Below are the results.
In the Democratic primary, four candidates competed for Place 9. Tamara Harris Johnson received the highest percentage of votes in the primary, winning 41.79%. The results were reversed in the runoff election, when Jim Hughey III received 58% of the vote. Hughey will compete against Bobby Lott in November's general election. 
Three candidates competed in the Republican primary to see who will succeed P.B. McLauchlin, Jr.. Winning 69.8% of the vote, William H. Fillmore emerged the victor this week. He is unopposed in the general election. 
In the primary for Place 3, three candidates competed as Republicans. Linda F. Coats took the majority of votes at 48.4%. On Tuesday, Christopher M. Messervy won the election with 61.5% of the vote. He will run unopposed in the general election, almost assuring his election to the court. 
For more information about the Alabama judicial races, visit: Alabama judicial elections, 2012 - Races by County.
- Terrebonne Parish Justice Court in Louisiana:
On Saturday, April 21, a runoff election was for one judicial seat was held in Louisiana. That occurred in Terrebonne Parish, for its Justice Court. The winner of the vacant seat was George C. Doescher, a local business owner. He defeated Cathy LeBoeuf, winning 66.25% of the vote. Doescher is now the Justice of the Peace for Ward 6 in Terrebonne Parish. 
For more information on the Louisiana elections, visit: Louisiana judicial elections, 2012.
Florida filing deadline highlights races
Friday, April 20, was the deadline for Florida judicial candidates to file for the election. Most of those filed are incumbent judges who will run unopposed in the general election on Nov. 6, 2012. For races with more than two candidates, there will be a primary on Aug. 14.
Following are a few of the contested Circuit Court races that will appear on the ballot:
- Andrew J. Decker, III will face Frederick John Schutte, IV.
- Jimmy Prevatt, Wes Douglas and Angela M. Cancio are vying for the other seat in the primary.
- Incumbent Judge Brian Davis will go to the primary with a slew of challengers: Melina E. Buncome, Don Mairs, Greg Messore, Gerald L. Wilkerson.
- Alvin Wellington Barlow will face Mark Borello
- Judge John Merrett will face challenger Suzanne Bass.
- Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. will face challenger Daniel Perry.
- Eric DuBois, Leticia Marques and Joel Wilson will head to the primary.
- Judge Keith F. White will face challenger Jose Torroella.
- Judge Timothy Shea will face challenger Pedro J. Malaret
- Larry Helms, William Sites and Christine Trakas Thornhill will go to the primary.
- Catherine L. Combee will face Mark Kaylor.
- Judge David C. Miller will face challenger Mauricio Padilla.
- Robert Coppel will face Maria Elena Verde.
- Alex Jimenez Labora will face Maria Santovenia.
- Victor H. De Yurre will face Teresa Mary Pooler.
In order to keep this the Election "Brief", we'll stop there for now. For the rest of the Circuit Court races you can check out: Florida judicial elections, 2012 - Circuit Court.
State’s appeal requests of voter ID law turned down by appellate courts
Last week the Wisconsin Supreme Court turned down an appeal by the state of Wisconsin that asked the injunction on the new voter ID law be lifted.  This week the Wisconsin 2nd District Court of Appeals refused to hear the appeal because Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan has not yet made a decision in the case. This is the second time in two weeks that the state’s request has been denied. 
Judge Flanagan was responsible for a ruling last month which created a temporary injunction preventing the enforcement of the state photo identification law. Flanagan has also scheduled a briefing for the 26th that will extend the case several weeks beyond the upcoming recall election involving Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four senators. 
For more background on this case, read: Injunctions bar enforcement of voter ID law in April election, March 12, 2012.
Indiana candidates file suit for more info
Five candidates in Indiana's upcoming elections are asking counties to provide more voter information than in the past. The Marion County Election Board recently adopted a rule allowing the public to obtain voter names, addresses, and voting districts. Five candidates, who are running for office without the party endorsement, are hoping for much more. They want to aid their campaigns by obtaining additional information, including the voting history of citizens. One of the five candidates is Marion County Superior Court candidate Greg Bowes. 
The request for additional information was initially denied by Marion County Circuit Court judge Louis F. Rosenberg;, though at that time, he did grant a request by the Board of Voter Registration that the case be moved to another county. This decision will delay future proceedings. Though a ruling would not effect this election cycle, the plaintiffs plan to press on in hopes of a finding in their favor, believing it would benefit candidates running without the endorsement of their parties in future elections.
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- Supreme Court of Washington Blog, "Richard Sanders to attempt return to Supreme Court," March 22, 2012
- Voting for Judges.org, Washington Supreme Court
- Judicial selection in Washington
- Return Richard Sanders to the Supreme Court campaign website
- Ruminations Blog, Washington Supreme Court, March 26, 2012
- The Birmingham News, "Jim Hughey III wins Democratic primary runoff for Jefferson County Circuit Court Place 9," April 24, 2012
- The Southeast Sun, "Filmore, Michalic, Strickland win in Dale County primary election runoff," April 25, 2012
- The Press-Register, "Jack Weaver tops Dawn Hare in 35th judicial circuit race," April 24, 2012
- WAKA.com, "Alabama Runoff Results," April 24, 2012
- The Huntsville Times, "Chris Messervy wins Madison County District Court judge runoff over Linda Coats," April 24, 2012
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Terrebonne Parish Unofficial Election Results
- Florida Division of Elections: 2012 Candidate Listing
- ‘’ Bloomberg News,’’ “Wisconsin Top Court Declines to Hear Voter-ID Ruling Appeals,” April 16, 2012
- ‘’gazettextra.com,’’ “Wis. appeals court won't hear voter ID case,” April 25, 2012
- Wisconsin State Journal, "Judge grants temporary injunction barring enforcement of voter ID law in April election," March 6, 2012
- The Associated Press, "Judge says Wisconsin voter ID case won't be resolved before recalls," April 19, 2012
- The Associated Press, "2nd Wisconsin judge strikes down state's voter identification law," March 12, 2012
- The Indianapolis Star, "Candidates want more than basic voter info," April 21, 2012
- The Daily Political, "Indiana Candidates Wants Access to More Voter Data," April 22, 2012