Friday, March 21, 2008
Write-In Campaign Targets Six Sitting Hispanic Judges
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer
Six sitting Hispanic male Los Angeles Superior Court judges have been targeted for challenge in the June 3 primary election by a write-in campaign, the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office confirmed yesterday.
A spokesperson told the MetNews that an unnamed individual filed petitions to subject Superior Court Judges Daniel P. Ramirez, Juan Carlos Dominguez, Michael Villalobos, Hector M. Guzman, Daniel S. Lopez and Jose Sandoval to challenge.
The spokesperson said that the office declined to disclose the individual’s identity until the office had determined whether such information was a matter of public record. The names of all six judge judges will now appear on the June 3 primary ballot, subject to verification of the petition signatures, but the write-in candidate each judge will face remains to be determined.
California law permits write-in candidates to run against an unopposed incumbent only if a petition signed by 100 qualified voters is filed no later than 10 days after the close of qualifying.
The qualifying period for judicial candidates closed March 7.
According to the Registrar’s Office, once the signatures have been verified, the candidate who seeks to challenge any one of the judges will need to submit nomination papers containing between 20 and 40 signatures between April 7 and May 20. Signatures on the nomination papers will be subject to the same requirements as signatures on the petitions, the representative said.
The Registrar’s Office will then check the signatures against the roll of qualified voters, and, if a sufficient number of signatures are determined to be valid, issue a qualified write-in sheet listing candidates for whom write-in votes will be counted in the election.
The representative said that the name or names of the write-in candidates will not otherwise be published by the office.
Villalobos, who was already aware of the challenge when contacted by the MetNews, said that it was “unfortunate” that someone was raising the prospect of a write-in campaign against the judges after they had gone through the process of filing application and nomination papers.
He also said that he did not know who was behind the effort, or why the challenger seemed to be targeting only Hispanic males.
The judges targeted by the effort will appear on the ballot under Office Nos. 3, 35, 41, 55, 101 and 102, respectively.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company