Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, March 13, 2006


Page 1


Janavs Is Lone Superior Court Judge to Draw Election Challenge




Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs drew an election challenger Friday, the last possible day to file against an incumbent in the June 6 primary.

Attorney and businesswoman Lynn Olson, 42, became the only attorney challenging a Los Angeles Superior Court judge this year.

Olson is a former commercial litigation associate at Adams, Duque & Hazeltine, which dissolved, and later at what was then the Christensen White law firm.

She activated her membership in the State Bar in December, having left practice to concentrate on private businesses including a Manhattan Beach bakery which she operates with her husband, Hermosa Beach City Councilman Michael Keegan. Olson’s only explanation for challenging Janavs, 69, was that “I think I’ll be a better judge.”

Olson said she will not have a campaign consultant and plans to spend less than $1,000 on the campaign.

Janavs could not be reached for comment Friday.

With the passage of Friday’s deadline, the only judicial seats for which candidates may file to run are the eight positions for which incumbent judges did not file. The extended deadline for those races is Wednesday, although the incumbents are now barred from filing.

In other election-related developments:

Deputy District Attorney Michael Kraut, 40, became the second candidate to file for the seat now held by Judge Charles Rubin. Superior Court Commissioner Alan Friedenthal filed previously.

Kraut has handled a number of high profile homicide, drug and gang cases. He currently works in a fraud unit.

He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve Law School and Cornell University. He grew up on an East Coast horse farm and competes on the rodeo circuit.

He joined the district attorney’s Office in 1994 after a short stint in private practice in San Diego. He told the MetNews he had long been considering a run for the bench and that the timing seemed to be right.

He said he did not have a campaign consultant, but is considering hiring one.

A potential third candidate, Deputy City Attorney Deborah Sanchez, took out papers to run for the Rubin seat.

Sanchez, 46, has been a prosecutor for 18 years. She currently supervises a unit that handles public corruption, fraud, child pornography, sexual assault, and hate crime cases.

“I’ve learned so much [at the City Attorney’s Office], but I’m eager to grow,” she said.

Sanchez, who is part Native American, serves on the Bareno Chumash Council and is active in Native American and Hispanic community groups.

She does not have a consultant, she said, but has begun fundraising. She said she has commitments of $75,000 and thinks she can raise the $200,000 she believes will be needed to win the race.

Deputy Public Defender C. Edward Mack, 51, took out papers to run for the seat being vacated by Judge Marion Johnson. Mack, an unsuccessful candidate for the Los Angeles Superior Court two years ago, has taken out papers for a potential second run for the court. Mack finished last in a six-way race for an open seat in 2004, polling 6.64 percent of the vote.

The seat was won in a runoff by Gus Gomez, then a deputy state attorney general and Glendale councilman.

Mack is a 1987 graduate of the University of West Los Angeles School of Law and joined the Public Defender’s Office in 1990 after five years as an employee of the now-defunct Los Angeles Municipal Court. Deputy District Attorney Hayden Zacky is also running for that seat and Santa Monica attorney George Montgomery has taken out papers to run for it as well.

North Hills attorney Richard A. Nixon filed for the seat previously held by Judge Michael Knight, who retired last month. Already running for that seat are Workers’ Compensation Judge John C. Gutierrez and Encino attorney Stephen M. Feldman.

Pasadena attorney David Crawford III has also taken out papers to run for that seat.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company