Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, February 11, 2008


Page 1


Three More Candidates File for Superior Court Judicial Races




Three more candidates have entered races for open seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court, as the countdown begins toward today’s 5 p.m. deadline.

Filing declarations of intent on Thursday were state Deputy Attorneys General Paul Bruguera and Robert Henry and Deputy District Attorney Michael Jesic.

Henry, who has run three times previously, and Bruguera, who ran last time, each filed two declarations, for the same two seats—those now held by Judges Gibson Lee and Jack Hunt.

Deputy District Attorney Pat Connolly had filed earlier for Gibson’s seat, and Superior Court Commissioner Rocky Crabb for Hunt’s. Jesic filed for the Hunt seat.

Knowledge of Each Other

Henry and Bruguera acknowledged having spoken to each other but denied having a common strategy, and neither completely ruled out the possibility that they would wind up running against each other.

“Anyone who guesses at what we’re going to do, guesses at their own peril,” Henry told the MetNews. Under state law, a candidate may file declarations of intent to run for any number of seats, but must commit to a particular one when returning nomination documents, the final step in the filing process.

Nomination documents may be filed anytime between today and March 7.

Henry, 59, ran in 1992, 2004, and 2006. He came closest two years ago, gaining 48 percent of the vote in a runoff with Deborah Sanchez, then a Los Angeles deputy city attorney.

Henry said two weeks ago that he was considering running again, even though he said after losing to Sanchez that “some things are never meant to be” and that he believed he had run his last race. Henry has also run for the state Assembly and for Congress.

He has been with the Attorney General’s Office for 34 years. He currently handles writs and appeals in death penalty cases in state and federal courts.

Bruguera, 51, lost to Judith Meyer—then a deputy district attorney—in 2006. He polled 28 percent of the vote, less than half of Meyer’s total.

He commented Friday that he “enjoyed the experience” of running and realized after the fact that he was at a disadvantage in entering the race late and in running against Meyer, who was making her second bid for the court after losing to Donna Groman in 2004.

He said he expects to do more fundraising than he did last time, but that after being vastly outspent by Meyer, it would be “presumptuous” to declare a figure.

Bruguera is also changing the name he uses for ballot purposes. After running as “S. Paul Bruguera” last time, he filed for the June 3 primary as “Paul ‘Pablo’ Bruguera.”

Husband of Judge

He explained that Pablo “is a nickname that I’ve had” and that he is using it in the election in order to “emphasize that I’m Hispanic and I’m interested in diversity.” Bruguera is the Pittsburgh-born son of immigrants and is of Spanish ancestry on his father’s side.

 He is married to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Soussan Bruguera.

Jesic, who could not be reached for comment Friday, is the calendar deputy in Superior Court  Judge Peter Espinoza’s downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

In other election developments:

•Deputy District Attorney Serena Murillo Thursday returned the declaration of intent she had taken out the day before, for the seat now held by Judge Tracy A. Grant. Superior Court Commissioner Harvey Silberman had filed for the seat earlier.

•Downtown Los Angeles attorney Bill Johnson took out papers to run for the seat now held by Judge Daniel S. Pratt. Commissioner James Bianco is the only candidate to have filed for the seat thus far.

•Commissioner Lori-Ann Jones Friday took out papers to run for the Grant seat, as well as those now held by Judge Francis A. Gately Jr., Wendell Mortimer Jr., and Michael Duggan. Deputy District Attorney Hilleri G. Merritt filed earlier for the Gately seat, Deputy District Attorney Thomas Rubinson for the Mortimer seat, and Deputy District Attorneys Michael O’Gara and Eduard Abele for the Duggan seat.

Jones, a deputy district attorney at the time, ran for an open seat in 2004.


Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company