Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Prosecutor Blanchard to Seek Open Superior Court Seat
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Deputy District Attorney B. Kathleen Blanchard said yesterday she would seek an open seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Blanchard, 39, said she is keeping her options open but will not run against Superior Court Commissioner James Bianco, who is seeking the seat now held by retiring Judge Daniel S. Pratt, nor will she oppose Commissioner Harvey Silberman, who is running to succeed retiring Judge Dzintra Janavs.
Running for the bench has been her “ultimate career goal” for as long as she can remember, Blanchard said. “I think I’ve acquired all the tools necessary to make me effective as a judge.”
Blanchard joined the District Attorney’s Office a little over 10 years ago after nearly four years as a deputy state attorney general. said she made the change because, although she enjoyed the research and writing associated with her previous position, she wanted to do trial work.
She said she planned to spend $100,000 of her own money on the campaign, which she has “been contemplating for a while now.” No decision has been about using a professional campaign consultant, she explained.
She has spent the past four and a half years prosecuting hardcore gang cases, having recently moved from downtown Los Angeles to San Fernando. She said she has had “nine or 10” different assignments, including to felony courts in Compton and Lancaster, and is presently handling two death penalty cases.
She has handled a number of cases resulting in life prison sentences, including a 2006 case in which young San Fernando Valley men were sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for the 2001 drive-by murder of a 15-year-old boy near Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley.
She said she has not sought out judicial endorsements and will not do so until she knows who her opponents are.
In other election news yesterday:
•Deputy Attorney General Lance E. Winters, a previously announced candidate, took out the necessary paperwork to collect signatures in order to run for the Pratt seat, as did Bianco.
•Deputy District Attorney Christian R. Gullon took out papers to run for the seat of retired Judge Bradford L. Andrews. The election for that seat would be cancelled if the governor appoints a successor to Andrews by Feb. 11, the first date to file nomination documents.
•A judicial officer who asked to remain anonymous said he expects three to five incumbents, beyond the three who have already scheduled retirements—Pratt, Janavs, and Judge Alan Kalkin—not to seek re-election.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company