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Florida's judicial races are set.

Voters in August will decide 35 contested circuit court races around Florida and another dozen county court races.

In November they will decide any runoffs from those contested trial court judgeships, plus consider the merit retention of one Supreme Court justice and 23 district courts of appeal judges.

Another 246 circuit court judges and 49 county court judges were elected without opposition when filing for the court system closed at noon on May 2.

As is typical for the trial courts, most--but not all--incumbents were reelected without opposition, and contested races tended to concentrate on open seats where the incumbents were not seeking reelection. Some open seats drew three, four, and even five candidates.

Any races not settled on the August 28 primary ballot will go to the November 4 general election ballot, where DCA judges and Supreme Court Justice Charles T. Wells also will appear on the merit retention ballot.

Wells is the only justice on the ballot this year.

DCA judges up for merit retention are:

* First DCA: Robert T. Benton, Marguerite H. Davis, Joseph Lewis, Jr., Ricky L. Polston, Clay Roberts, and William A. Van Nortwick, Jr.

* Second DCA: Chris W. Altenbernd, Carolyn K. Fulmer, Morris Silberman, and James W. Whatley.

* Third DCA: Gerald B. Cope, Jr., David M. Gersten, Barbara Lagoa, Juan Ramirez, Jr., and Vance E. Salter.

* Fourth DCA: Mark E. Polen, W. Matthew Stevenson, and Martha C. Warner.

* Fifth DCA: Kerry I. Evander, C. Alan Lawson, Richard B. Orfinger, William David Palmer, and Thomas D. Sawaya.

Circuit Courts

Of the 35 contested circuit court races, 21 are in four circuits, the Second, 11th, 13th, and 17th. No other circuit has more than two contested groups. Almost 88 percent of the races were uncontested, and all but a handful of those involved incumbents.

Contested circuit elections are:

* In the Second Circuit, incumbent P. Kevin Davey is being challenged by David Frank in Group 2; Dawn Caloca-Johnson and Charles Dodson are running for Group 4; Errol H. Powell, Lisa Raleigh, and Frank Sheffield are running for Group 7; and incumbent Angela C. Dempsey and William J. "Bill" Miller, Jr., are running for Group 16.

* In the Third Circuit, Chris Craun, Greg Parker, and Thomas Stone are running for Group 4.

* In the Fourth Circuit, Mark Hulsey and Adrian G. Soud are running for Group 11; and Rick Buttner and Virginia Norton are running for Group 28.

* In the Fifth Circuit, Sandy Hawkins, Michael Lamberti, and Denise Lyn are running for Group 3; and Richard A. Howard and Rhonda Portwood are running for Group 11.

* In the Sixth Circuit, Violet M. Assaid, Mary Handsel, and Bruce G. Howie are running for Group 6; and Kenneth Foote, Susan L. Gardner, and Robert Angus Williams are running for Group 8.

* In the Ninth Circuit, John Crotty, Fred Schott, and Jim Turner are running for Group 22.

* In the 10th Circuit, John Radabaugh and Nathaniel White are running for Group 19.

* In the 11th Circuit, Jorge E. Cueto and Josie Perez Veliz are running for Group 11; Migna Sanchez-Llorens and Manny Segarra are running for Group 18; Yvonne Colodny, Patricia A. Kopco, and Stephen T. Millan are running for Group 19; Mario Garcia and Stacy Daryl Glick are running for Group 38; Ricardo "Rick" Corona and Abby Cynamon are running for Group 50; incumbent Douglas J. Chumbley is being challenged by Marcia B. Caballero in Group 51; incumbent Jeri Beth Cohen is being challenged by Abbie Barbara Cuellar in Group 55; and incumbent Bernard S. Shapiro is being challenged by Denise Martinez-Scanziani in Group 57.

* In the 12th Circuit, Connie Mederos-Jacobs and Gilbert A. Smith, Jr., are running for Group 1.

* In the 13th Circuit, Jason D. Montes and Caroline Tesche are running for Group 1; Miriam Velez and Samantha Ward are running for Group 2; incumbent Kevin Carey is being challenged by Catherine M. Catlin in Group 7; Lisa Campbell and Linda Courtney Clark are running for Group 21; and incumbent Martha Cook is being challenged by Constance Daniels for Group 30.

* In the 15th Circuit, incumbent Diana Lewis is being challenged by Lisa Small in Group 14; and incumbent Richard Wennet is being challenged by William S. "Bill" Abramson on Group 23.

* In the 16th Circuit, Richard M. Behr, Manny Madruga, Jiulio Margalli, Tagan Slaton, and Mary Vanden Brook are running for Group 4.

* In the 17th Circuit, Bernard Isaac "Bernie" Bober, Pedro E. Dijols, and Mardi Anne Levey are running for Group 3; Merrilee Ehrlich, Paul D. Eichner, and John Robert Howes are running for Group 21; Steven Brian Feren, Mark W. Rickard, and Ed Sugar are running for Group 27; and incumbent Renee Goldenberg is being challenged by Kim T. Mollica in Group 34.

* In the 18th Circuit, incumbent Meryl L. Allawas is being challenged by Robert T. Burger in Group 17.

* In the 19th Circuit, Laurie Ehler, Dwight L. Geiger, Faith Litvack, and Fran O. Ross are running for Group 4.

Those elected without opposition for circuit judgeships were:

In the First Circuit, G. Robert Barron, T. Michael Jones, Kim A. Skievaski, Nickolas P. Geeker, W. Joel Boles, Paul A. Rasmussen, Thomas R. Santurri, Jan Shackelford, Edward P. Nickinson III, Kenneth L. Williams, Mike Allen, and W. Howard LaPorte, all incumbents, were elected.

In the Second Circuit, Kathleen F. Dekker, N. Sanders Sauls, John C. Cooper, Mark Walker, and Charles A Francis were elected. All but Walker are incumbents.

In the Third Circuit, Julian E. Collins and Leandra G. Johnson, both incumbents, were elected.

In the Fourth Circuit, Jean Johnson, Jim Daniel, W. Gregg McCaulie, Lance M. Day, Donald R. Moran, Jr., David M. Gooding, Peter J. Fryefield, Jefferson W. Morrow, John Hillis Skinner, Brad Stetson, Waddell A. Wallace, and Mallory Durden Cooper were elected without opposition. All but Daniel and Morrow are incumbents.

In the Fifth Circuit, Richard Tombrink, Jr., Mark J. Hill, William Jack Singbush, Jonathan D. Ohlman, Don F. Briggs, Jack Springstead, G. Richard Singeltary, Sandra Edwards-Stephens, T. Michael Johnson, Brian D. Lambert, Curtis J. Near, Steve Rushing, Carol A. Valvey, and Mark A. Nacke, all incumbents, were elected.

In the Sixth Circuit, Lauren Laughlin, Raymond O. Gross, W. Lowell Bray, Jr., Pamela A.M. Campbell, Walt Logan, Mark Shames, Stanley R. Mills, Shawn Crane, Linda H. Babb, Jack R. St. Arnold, Anthony Rondolino, Bruce Boyer, Tim Peters, John A. Schaefer, Daniel D. Diskey, Linda Allan, George M. Jirotka, Walter L. Schafer, Jr., and Thane Bobbitt Covert, all incumbents, were elected.

In the Seventh Circuit, J. David Walsh, Edward E. Hedstrom, R. Michael Hutcheson, James R. Clayton, John V. Doyle, Margaret W. Hudson, John M. Alexander, Julianne Piggotte, Shawn L. Briese, Robert K. Rouse, Jr., Hubert L. Grimes, Terry LaRue, Raul A. Zambrano, and Randell H. Rowe III, all incumbents, were elected.

In the Eighth Circuit, Phyllis M. Rosier, Frederick D. Smith, Martha Ann Lott, William E. Davis, David A. Glant, and James P. Nilon were elected. All but Davis are incumbents.

In the Ninth Circuit, John M. Kest, Arnold C. Jeffery, Maura T. Smith, Walter Komanski, John H. Adams, Sr., Roger McDonald, Alan Apte, Daniel P. Dawson, Tony Johnson, A. Thomas Mihok, Reginald Karl Whitehead, Donald E. Grincewicz, Frederick J. Lauten, Janet Claire Thorpe, Jeffrey M. Fleming, Scott Polodna, John B. Morgan, and Alicia L. Latimore, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 10th Circuit, Roger A. Alcott, Julian Dale Durrance, David Langford, J. Michael McCarthy, Dick Prince, Wm. Bruce Smith, John F. Laurent, Peter Frank Estrada, Mark F. Carpanini, Neil A. Roddenbery, and Karla Foreman Wright, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 11th Circuit, Ivan F. Fernandez, Mary Barzee Flores, Diane Ward, Amy Steele Donner, Margarita G. Esquiroz, Jose M. Rodriguez, Ronald M. Friedman, Leon M. Firgel, Daryl E. Trawick, Peter Lopez, Ronald C. Dresnick, Joseph P. Farina, Orlando A. Prescott, Roberto M. Pineiro, Celeste Hardee Muir, Jerald Bagley, Sarah Zabel, Kevin M. Emas, Thomas S. (Tam) Wilson, Jr., Marc Schumacher, Maria Sampedro-Inglesia, Jacqueline Hogan Scola, Robert Scola, Sandy Karlan, Victoria Sigler, Reemberto Diaz, Dava J. Tunis, Spencer Eig, and Beatrice Avgherino "Betty" Butchko were elected. All are incumbents except Sampedro-Inglesia.

In the 12th Circuit, Charles E. Roberts, Rick De Furia, Andre D. Owens, Jr., Robert W. McDonald, Jr., Peter A. Dubensky, Marc B. Gilner, Dono G. Economou, and Edward Nicholas, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 13th Circuit, Marva L. Crenshaw, Daniel L. Perry, James D. Arnold, Greg Holder, Rex Barbas, Ralph C. Stoddard, Charlene Edwards Honeywell, Jack Espinosa, Jr., Claudia Rickert Isom, Chet A. Tharpe, Manuel Menendez, Jr., Sam D. Pendino, Vivian Corvo Maye, William P. Levens, Wayne S. Timmerman, Richard A. Nielsen, Katherine G. Essrig, James M. Barton II, Herbert J. Baumann, Jr., Michelle Sisco, Steven Scott Stephens, Chris Sabella, and Daniel H. Sleet, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 14th Circuit, William L. Wright, Judy M. Pittman, Hentz McClellan, Michael C. Overstreet, and Jim Fensom, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 15th Circuit, Elizabeth T. Maass, Jorge Labarga, John H. Hoy, Tom Barkdull, Jeffrey J. Colbath, Glenn D. Kelley, John L. Phillips, Lucy Chernow Brown, Jeffrey A. Winikoff, Sandra K. McSorley, Karen M. Miller, and Charles E. Burton, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 16th Circuit, Mark Jones and Luis M. Garcia, both incumbents, were elected.

In the 17th Circuit, John A. Frusciante, Michael J. Orlando, Jeffrey Richard Levenson, Melvin B. "Mel" Grossman, Jeffrey E. Streitfeld, Patti Englander Henning, Victor "Vic" Tobin, Tom Lynch, John Bowman, David Krathen, Dale C. Cohen, Charles "Charlie" Greene, Andrew L. (Andy) Siegel, John J. Murphy III, Marc H. Gold, Susan J. Aramony, Alfred J. Horowitz, Michael G. Kaplan, Martin J. Bidwill, Jack B. Tuter, Jr., and Mily Rodriguez-Powell, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 18th Circuit, Preston Silvernail, Nancy F. Alley, John M. Harris, Donna L. McIntosh, Bruce W. Jacobus, John D. Galluzzo, John D. Moxley, Jr., John M. "Jack" Griesbaum, Tonya B. Rainwater, James E.C. Perry, Charles J. Roberts, Alan A. Dickey, Kenneth R. Lester, Jr., Robert A. Wohn Jr., and George B. Turner, all incumbents but Roberts, were elected.

In the 19th Circuit, Steven J. Levin, Robert R. Makemson, Larry Schack, Cynthia L. Cox, William Roby, Dan L. Vaughn, Lawrence Mirman, Barbara W. Bronis, and Elizabeth A. Metzger, all incumbents, were elected.

In the 20th Circuit, Lynn Gerald, Jr., Ed Volz, Christine H. Greider, Hugh D. Hayes, Sherra Winesett, John S. Carlin, G. Keith Cary, Mark A. Steinbeck, and Michael T. McHugh were elected. All but Greider are incumbents.

County Courts

The Bar News surveyed the Web sites of Florida's supervisors of elections (circuit judge candidates file with the secretary of state in Tallahassee, while county judges filed with the supervisor of elections in their home counties and the state does not keep a central list of county court candidates). Based on that review, here's a look, county by county, at those elected without opposition and contested races for county judgeships (if you have information about a race or candidate who was overlooked, please contact the News at (850) 561-5684):

* Alachua, Group 1, Victor L. Hulslander; Group 2, Denise R. Ferrero, James K. Fisher, Rob Groeb, Lorraine H. Sherman, and Rhonda Stroman.

* Bay, Group 1, Timothy C. Campbell and Hoot Crawford; Group 4, Joseph F. Grammer and Michael J. Hauversburk.

* Brevard, Group 3, Michelle Baker and Oscar A. Hotusing; Group 8, Benjamin B. Garagozlo; Group 9, Kelly J. McKibben.

* Broward, Group 11, Steven P. Deluca; Group 18, Ellen A. Feld and Julio E. Gonzalez; Group 27, Catalina M. Avalos, Ian J. Richards, and Edward Salantrie; Group 28, Stacy M. Ross.

* Collier, Group 4, Robert L. Crown; Group 5, Janeice T. Martin.

* Columbia, Group 1, Tom Coleman.

* Duval, Group 13, Kevin Blazs; Group 14, Gary P. Flower; Group 16, Angela M. Cox.

* Gulf, Group 1 Fred N. Witten.

* Hernando, Group 1, Kurt E. Hitzemann.

* Hillsborough, Group 2, Cheryl K. Thomas; Group 7, Eric R. Myers; Group 9, John N. Conrad; Group 16, Margaret Taylor Courtney; Group 17, Lawrence Lefler.

* Lake, Group 3, Terry T. Neal.

* Lee, Group 6, Josephine B. Gagliardi.

* Leon, Sean T. Desmond, Leonard Holton, and Nina Ashenafi Richardson.

* Manatee, Group 3, Robert A. Farrance; Group 4, Mark D. Singer.

* Marion, Group 4, Steven Rogers.

* Martin, Group 3, Kathleen H. Roberts.

* Miami-Dade, Group 13, Victoria R. Brennan; Group 16, Rosa C. Figarola; Group 17, Eric William Hendon; Group 19, Jacqueline Schwartz; Group 30, Cristina Miranda; Group 34, George A. Sarduy; Group 36, Nuria Saenz; Group 38, Antonio Arzola; Group 42, Norma S. Lindsey and Lisa Victoria Lesperance.

* Orange, Group 2, Nancy L. Clark; Group 3, Faye Allen; Group 10, Ken Barlow and Mark D. Wixtrom; Group 15, Debbie Ansbro and Brad Conway; Group 16, John E. Jordan.

* Osceola, Group 3, Stefania C. Jancewicz.

* Palm Beach, Group 3, Reginald R. Corlew and Theodore Israel Herold; Group 11, Laura Johnson; Group 12, Debra Moses Stephens; Group 14, Janis Brustares Keyser; Group 18, James L. Martz.

* Polk, Group 2, Beth Harlan; Group 7, Robert L. Williams, Jr.

* Putnam, Group 2, Elizabeth A. Morris.

* Santa Rosa, Group 1, Ross L. Bilbrey.

* Sarasota, Group 2, David L. Denkin.

* St. Johns, Group 1, Patti Ann Christensen and Anne Marie Gennusa.

* St. Lucie, Group 2, Philip J. Yacucci, Jr.; Group 4, Kathryn Nelson.

* Volusia, Group 7, David H. Foxman; Group 10, Peter A.D. McGlashan.

By Gary Blankenship

Senior Editor
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Author:Blankenship, Gary
Publication:Florida Bar News
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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