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Judicial races set

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Judicial races set

282 judges take seats on the bench unopposed

Supreme Court Justice Alan Lawson and 17 district court of appeal judges have qualified for merit retention on the November 2018 general election ballot. On the trial court side, 177 circuit judges have been elected or reelected without opposition, while voters will decide another 34 contests. In the county courts, 105 were elected or reelected without opposition and there are 42 contested races.

Trial court contests will appear on the August 28 primary ballot and any runoffs will be decided in the November 6 general election.

Justice Alan Lawson Lawson, appointed by outgoing Gov. Rick Scott in January 2017 to replace retired Justice James E.C. Perry, will be making his first appearance on the retention ballot. In Florida, Supreme Court justices and district court of appeal judges appear on the merit retention ballot after being appointed by the governor, and then every six years thereafter.

Trial court judges are appointed by the governor if the vacancy occurs in the middle of a six-year term, but otherwise are elected by the voters. Under the Florida Constitution, voters in a circuit can go to merit retention for judges up for reelection, but none have taken that option.

The Florida Bar will work to educate and inform voters about judicial candidates and judicial retention and election process. The Bar will publish a lawyer poll and a brief biography for all appellate jurists appearing on the ballot. Trial court judicial candidates are encouraged to fill out the Bar’s voluntary self-disclosure statement, which like the appellate poll and biography, will be published online.

The Bar also will, in conjunction with supervisors of elections and the League of Women Voters, print and distribute the Guide for Florida Voters, which educates voters about what judges do, judicial elections, and the merit retention system for appellate judges.

The DCA judges up for retention are:

• In the First DCA, Harvey Jay, Stephanie Ray, Brad Thomas, Kemmerly Thomas, and Allen Winsor.

• In the Second DCA, Anthony K. Black, Darryl C. Casanueva, Edward C. LaRose, and Susan H. Rothstein-Youakim.

• In the Third DCA, Kevin Emas, Ivan F. Fernandez, Norma Shepard Lindsey, and Robert Joshua Luck.

• In the Fourth DCA, Burton C. Conner, Jeffrey T. Kuntz, and Carole Y. Taylor.

• In the Fifth DCA, Eric Eisnaugle.

Sixteen of the 20 circuits have contested races; the 16th Circuit had no trial judges up for reelection. Voters will decide between the candidates in the August 28 primary and any runoffs will be on the November 6 general election ballot.

As is usual for the trial courts, very few incumbent judges were challenged and most of the 177 unopposed circuit court candidates are incumbents. In the 34 contested races, only seven involve incumbent judges.

Contested circuit court races include:

• In the Second Circuit, Lisa Barclay Fountain, David Frank, and D. Christine Thurman in Seat 12.

• In the Fourth Circuit, Maureen T. Horkan and Charles McBurney in Seat 18.

• In the Fifth Circuit, Don Barbee, Jr., and Edward C. Spaight in Seat 4.

• In the Sixth Circuit, Dustin Anderson, Dave Ellis, and Roxanne Fixsen in Seat 4; Claudia Elizabeth Blackwell and incumbent Christine Helinger in Seat 9; Doneene D. Loar and Donald McBath in Seat 36; incumbent Thomas H. “Tommy” Minkoff, and Mike Trentalange in Seat 40; and Evan Frayman and Rebecca Hamilton in Seat 45.

• In the Seventh Circuit, Linda L. Gaustad, Sebrina L. Slack, and Ryan Will in Seat 15.

• In the Eighth Circuit, David Robertson, Julie Waldman, and Gloria Walker in Seat 8.

• In the Ninth Circuit, Jeff Ashton and Howard Friedman in Seat 15; Joseph Haynes Davis and Tom Young in Seat 26; and Lorraine Elizabeth DeYoung, Dean Mosley, and Laura Shaffer in Seat 41.

• In the 10th Circuit, Lee Cohen, Melissa Gravitt, and Keith P. Merritt in Seat 10 and Diana Y. Moore and Stephen Paul Pincket in Seat 11.

• In the 11th Circuit, Elisabeth Espinosa and incumbent David C. Miller in Seat 8; Vivianne del Rio, Renee Gordon, and Louis V. Martinez in Seat 14; Rosy A. Aponte and Laura Shearon Cruz in Seat 22; and Yery Marrero and Joe Perkins in Seat 25.

• In the 12th Circuit, incumbent Brian A. Iten and Maria Ruhl in Seat 12.

• In the 13th Circuit, Cissy Boza Sevelin, Starr Brookins, Robin Fuson, and Jamey Moody in Seat 25.

• In the 15th Circuit, Jordan H. Jordan, Scott Ryan Kerner, and Alcolya J.L. St. Juste in Seat 13; Maxine Cheesman, Marybel Reinoso Coleman, and Joseph “Joe” Maryuma in Seat 18; and Henry Quinn Johnson, Michael McAuliffe, and Sarah Willis in Seat 25.

• In the 17th Circuit, incumbent Ernest Albert Kollra and Alan B. Schneider in Seat 8; Shari Beth Africk-Elefson and Kristin Weisberg Padowitz in Seat 36; Jason Allen-Rosner, Melissa Minsk Donoho, Linda Marie Leali, and Stefanie Camille Moon in Seat 38; Susan Lynn Alspector and Camille Shotwell-Coolidge in Seat 39; Richard Brian Kaplan and incumbent Michael Usan in Seat 42; Karen Elizabeth Berger and Dan Casey in Seat 43; and H. James Curry, Maria Markhasin-Weekes, and Walter “Dale” Miller in Seat 46.

• In the 18th Circuit, Adam Pollack and incumbent Melissa Dyan Souto in Seat 24.

• In the 19th Circuit, Louis “Lou” Larsen, Robert “Bob” Meadows, and Nirlaine Smartt in Seat 19.

• In the 20th Circuit, James Wesley Chandler and John Owen McGowan in Seat 8.

Circuit judges elected without opposition were:

• In the First Circuit, John Jay Gontarek, Darlene F. Dickey, Thomas Victor Dannheisser, Jeff Burns, Lacey Powell Clark, Kelvin Clyde Wells, Jeffrey Lewis, Mary Polson, Linda L. Nobles, Terry Ketchel, John L. Miller, Gary L. Bergosh, and Ross M. Goodman. All but Burns and Powell are incumbents.

• In the Second Circuit, Bobby Long, Barbara K. Hobbs, Ron Flury, Francis J. “Frank” Allman, and Robert R. Wheeler. All but Flury are incumbents.

• In the Third Circuit, Melissa Gates Olin, David W. Fina, and Douglas Wess. Olin is not an incumbent.

• In the Fourth Circuit, Don Harrison Lester, Steven B. Whittington, Thomas More Beverly, Karen K. Cole, Katie Lee Dearing, Kevin A. Blazs, Robert M. Dees, Gary L. Wilkinson, Eric C. Roberson, Mark Jeffrey Borello, John I. Guy, Collins Cooper, and Suzanne Bass. All but Dearing and Collins are incumbents

• In the Fifth Circuit, Peter M. Brigham, Michelle T. Morley, Steven Glen Rogers, Heidi Davis, Jennifer L. Bass, Stephen E. Toner, Jr., Gary L. Sanders, Anthony M. Tatti, Edward Leon Scott, Michael G. Takac, and Daniel B. Merritt, Jr. All are incumbents.

• In the Sixth Circuit, Philip J. Federico, Thomas Ramsberger, Dee Anna Farnell, Kemba Lewis, Declan P. Mansfield, Bill Burgess, Amy Martha Williams, Joseph A. Bulone, Kimberly “Kim” Campbell, Pat Siracusa, Nancy Moate Ley, Lauralee Ganson Westine, and Gregory G. Groger. All are incumbents.

• In the Seventh Circuit, Lee Smith, Patti Ann Christensen, Chris France, Terence R. Perkins, Mary G. Jolley, Leah R. Case, Elizabeth A. Blackburn, and Clyde E. Wolfe. All are incumbents.

• In the Eighth Circuit, Susanne Wilson Bullard, Stan Griffis, and Denise R. Ferrero. All but Ferrero are incumbents.

• In the Ninth Circuit, Jenifer Harris, Leticia “Letty” Marques, Gail A. Adams, Mike Murphy, Mark Steven Blechman, Keith White, Patricia A. Doherty, Tanya Davis Wilson, Tim Shea, and Bob LeBlanc. All are incumbents.

• In the 10th Circuit, Wayne M. Durben, Catherine L. Combee, and John K. Stargel. All are incumbents.

• In the 11th Circuit, Jose “Joe” Germandez, Maria Elena Verde, Bronwyn Catherine Miller, Mindy S. Glazer, Pedro P. Echarte, Jr., Carlos Lopez, Lisa Sharon Walsh, Miguel M. de la O, Ellen Sue Venzer, Maria de Jesus Santovenia, Teresa Mary Pooler, Jason Emilios Dimitris, Antonio “Tony” Arzola, Maria Espinosa Dennis, Michael A. Hanzman, Lourdes Simon, Victoria del Pino, Charlie Johnson, Valerie R. Manno Schurr, and Marisa Tinkler Mendez. All but Lopez are incumbents.

• In the 12th Circuit, Charles E. Williams, Lon Arend, Don T. Hall, Andrea Watt McHugh, Hunter W. Carroll, Teresa Kaklis Dees, Frederick P. Mercurio, Donna Padar Berlin, Debra Johnes Riva, and Rochelle Taylor Curley. All are incumbents.

• In the 13th Circuit, Paul Huey, Mark Wolfe, Cheryl K. Thomas, Ronald N. Ficarrotta, Christine A. Marlewski, Kim Hernandez Vance, Anne-Leigh Gaylord Moe, Darren David Farfante, Kimberly Kay Fernandez, Emily A. Peacock, and Jennifer Gabbard. All are incumbents.

• In the 14th Circuit, John L. Fishel II, Ana Maria Garcia, Shonna Young Gay, and Elijah Smiley. All are incumbents.

• In the 15th Circuit, Janis Brustares Keyser, Joseph Marx, Kathleen J. Kroll, Cymonie S. Rowe, James L. Martz, and Daliah H. Weiss. All are incumbents.

• In the 17th Circuit, Carol-Lisa Phillips, Nicholas “Nick” Lopane, David A. Haimes, Ari Abraham Porth, Michael Ian Rothschild, Fabienne Elizabeth Fahnestock, Jose Izquierdo, Tim Lawrence Bailey, Michael A. Robinson, Martin Samuel Fein, Keathan B. Frink, Yael “Elle” Gamm, Tom Coleman, Al Ribas, Michele Towbin Singer, and Marina G. Wood. All are incumbents.

• In the 18th Circuit, Lisa Davidson, Jeffrey F. Mahl, Debra S. Nelson, Marlene M. Alva, Jennifer Taylor, Charlie G. Crawford, and James H. Earp. All are incumbents.

• In the 19th Circuit, Sherwood “Chip” Bauer, Jr., and Robert Belanger. Both are incumbents.

• In the 20th Circuit, Carolyn Swift, J. Frank Porter, Geoffrey H. Gentile, Margaret “Meg” Ogilvie Steinbeck, Bruce Kyle, Leigh Frizzell Hayes, Joseph G. Foster, Lee Ann Schreiber, Lisa Spader Porter, Joseph C. Fuller, Elizabeth V. Krier, George C. Richards, Elisabeth Adams, and Keith Kyle. All but Swift are incumbents.

Information for county court races was compiled by the Bar News from individual supervisor of elections websites. It’s possible some data is wrong or was not listed; if any corrections are needed, please email [email protected]. The supervisor sites generally did not delineate incumbents, so they are not identified here.

Overall, there are 42 contested county judges races, while 105 were elected or reelected without opposition.

Contested county court races are:

Alachua County, Seat 2, Craig DeThomasis, Meshon Rawls, Jon Uman, and Darla K. Whistler.

Brevard County, Seat 5, Katie Jacobus, Rodney M. Kernan, and Anthony Mechachonis.

Broward County, Seat 9, Corey Amanda Cawthon, Tanner Channing Demmery, and Leonore M. Greller; Seat 10, Robert F. “Bob” Diaz and Michael John Heise; Seat 17, Michael Davis and Rhoda Sokoloff; Seat 19, Allison Gilman, John F. Phillips, and Jackie Powell; and Seat 25, Robert W. Lee, Stephen Leslie Lustig.

Clay County, Seat 2, Lucy Ann Hoover and Kristina Mobley.

Collier County, Seat 2, Blake Adams, Sal Bazaz, Jim Moon, Michael E. Nieman, and Dominick Russo.

DeSoto County, Seat 1, Danielle L. Brewer and Joshua C. Schueneman.

Duval County, Seat 3, Michael Bateh and Gerald L. Wilkerson; and Seat 8, LaRae Hendrix and Kimberly A. Sadler.

Escambia County, Seat 2, Paul Hamlin and Joyce Williams.

Franklin County, Seat 1, Roseanna Bronhard, Barbara Sanders, and Jay Gordon Shuler.

Hardee County, Seat 1, David Horton, Ken Evers, and James F. Pyle.

Hillsborough County, Seat 2, Lisa Allen, Adam L. Bantner II, and Greg Green; Seat 5, Jared Smith and Bill Yanger; and Seat 8, Robin Fernandez Fuson, Jack Gutman, E. Michael Isaak, LaShawn Strachan, and Lanell Williams-Yulee.

Indian River County, Seat 2, Nicole Menz, Kiernan Patrick Moylan, and Robyn Stone.

Lee County, Seat 2, James R. Adams and Kelly S. Worcester; and Seat 7, David McElrath and Maria E. Gonzalez.

Leon County, Seat 3, Suzanne Van Wyk, Cyndee Brown, and Monique Richardson.

Liberty County, Seat 1, Kenneth “Ken” Hosford and David Jackson Summers.

Marion County, Seat 2, William “Bill” Ramputi, and Sarah Ritterhoff Williams; Seat 3, Leann Mackey Barnes and Tommy Thompson; and Seat 4, Bryon Aven and Robert Landt.

Miami-Dade, Seat 2, Rosy Anette Aponte, Jeffrey Phillip Cynamon, and Kristy M. Nunez; Seat 32, Lizzet Martinez and Christopher “Chris” Pracitto; Seat 33, Olanike “Nike” Adbayo and Eleane Sosa-Bruzon; Seat 40, Michael George Barket and Elena Ortega-Tauler; and Seat 43, Milena Abreu and Mike F. Mirabal.

Okeechobee County, Seat 1, Roger Azcona, Rebecca H. Boldt, Donald Anthony Chinquina, Deborah M. Hooker, and William “Bill” Wallace.

Orange County, Seat 11, Adam McGinnis and Doricia “Dori” Miller Rivas; and Seat 14, Amy Carter and Wilfredo “Fredo” Martinez.

Osceola County, Seat 1, Christine Arendas, Ernest Mullins, and Daniel Villazon.

Palm Beach County, Seat 4, Allen “Antonio” Ambrosino, Lloyd Comiter, Gabriel “Gabe” Ermine, Allegra Fung, and Ashley Zuckerman; and Seat 5, Sara Alijewicz, Douglas Ian Leifert, Richard Llerena, Andrew Lance Ostrega, and Jeremy Zubkokff.

Pasco County, Seat 7, Kent Compton and Jeremiah M. Hawkes.

Seminole County, Seat 2, Wayne Culver, Debra Krause, and Cameron Shackelford.

St. Lucie County, Seat 1, Daryl “Ike” Isenhower and Fran Olenthia Ross.

Sumter County, Seat 1, Paul Militello and Edward J. Lynum.

Volusia County, Seat 5, Steven Burk and Dawn Fields.

County judges elected without opposition were: Bay County, Shane Vann; Brevard County, Kenneth Friedland, Michelle L. Naberhaus, and Thomas J. Brown; Broward County, Olga Levine, Kathleen Mary “Katie” McHugh, Louis H. “Lou” Schiff, Melinda “Mindy” Kirsch Brown, Ginger Lerner-Wren, Jill K. Levy, Jennifer Wigand Hilal, Arlene Simon Backman, and Terri-Ann Miller; Calhoun County, Kevin Grover; Charlotte County, Peter A. Bell, John L. Burns, and Paul Alessandroni; Collier County, Michael J. Brown and Tamara Lynne Nicola; Duval County, Roberto Arias, Pauline M. Drake, Emmet F. Ferguson III, James A. Ruth, Kelly Elizabeth Eckley, Michelle Kalil, and Dawn K. Hudson; Escambia County, Amy Broderson and Kerra Smith.

Flagler County, D. Melissa Moore Stens; Gadsden County, Kathy Garner; Gilchrist County, Sheree H. Lancaster; Glades County, Jack E. Lundy; Gulf County, Tim McFarland; Hamilton County, Sonny Scaff; Hillsborough County, Amy Ober, Frances Maria Perrone, Richard A. Weis, Daryl Manning, and Scott A. Farr; Indian River County, David C. Morgan; Jackson County, Douglas Wade Mercer; Jefferson County, Robert “Bobby” Plaines; Lafayette County, Darren Jackson; Lake County, James R. Baxley; Lee County, Zachary M. Gill, Devin S. George, and Tara Pascotto Paluck; Leon County, Stephen Everett and Augustus D. Aikins, Jr.; Levy County, Tim Browning; Madison County, Edwin Bailey Browning III.

Miami-Dade County, Patricia Lea Marion-Pedraza, Samuel Joseph Slom, Robin Wilson Faber, Luise Krieger Martin, Diana Gonzalez Whyte, Steven Leifman, Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer, Betsy Alvarez-Zane, Alex Spicola Bokor, Michelle Alvarez Barakat, Jacqueline Michelle Woodward, Linda Singer Stein, Andrea Dottie Ricker Wolfson, Dawn Veronica Denaro, Maria De Fatima Ortiz, Tanya Jeanette Brinkley, Gina Beovides, and Larry King; Okaloosa County, Patricia S. Grinsted; Orange County, Martha C. Adams, Andrew L. Cameron, Maureen A. Bell, and Steve Jewett; Osceola County, Gabrielle Sanders and Hal Epperson, Jr.; Palm Beach County, Sandra Bosso-Pardo, Ted Booras, Edward A. Garrison, Leonard Hanser, Sherri L. Collins, and Frank Castor.

Pasco County, William G. Sestak, Frank I. Grey II, Joseph A. Poblick, and Anne Wansboro; Pinellas County, Cathy Ann McKyton, Donald E. Horrox, Myra Scott McNary, Joshua Riba, Lorraine M. Kelly, and Susan Bedinghaus; Polk County, Stacie Kaylor, Rob Griffin, Bob Grode, and John E. Kirkland; Putnam County, C. Joe Boatwright II; Sarasota County, Judy Goldman; Seminole County, Mark E. Herr and James DeKleva; St. Johns County, Alexander R. Christine, Jr.; Taylor County, Bill Blue; and Volusia County, Belle Schumann, Christopher Kelly and Bryan Feigenbuam.

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