Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, February 23, 2018


Page 1


ALJ McKay’s Election Challenge to Judge Escalante Abandoned

David DeJute Drops Out as Superior Court Candidate


By a MetNews Staff Writer



Administrative Law Judge


Former Assistant U.S. Attorney


Klint James McKay, an administrative law judge with the state Department of Social Services, said yesterday he will drop his election challenge to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kristin Escalante.

In other election news, David A. DeJute, a former assistant U.S. attorney, said yesterday that he is dropping out as a candidate for a Los Angeles Superior Court judgeship in the June 5 primary election.

McKay said in faxed statement late yesterday afternoon:

“ I withdraw my challenge to Superior Court Judge Kristin Escalante, effective immediately, and will not file a Declaration of Candidacy.”

The candidate, according to his earlier statements, thought, incorrectly, that if he did not file a declaration of intent to challenge a judge by the Feb. 7 deadline, there might be no seat to run for, being under the impression that it would not be known until Feb. 8 whether there were any open seats. In fact, all 10 open seats were identified by Feb. 7.

  He told the MetNews yesterday that he got into the race “without having experience” and since then, “having consulted with people who have experiences in these races, it became apparent to me that I was causing more grief than I expected.”

Escalante was appointed Dec. 22.

McKay’s decision leaves veteran Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey as the only member of his court facing an election challenge this year. His opponent is Woodland Hills Lawyer Anthony Lewis.

DeJute Bows Out

DeJute had filed a declaration of an intention to run for both Office No. 4 and No. 16 and took out nominating papers for both offices. He told the MetNews he has decided, for “personal and private” reasons, not to file those papers for either seat.

The lawyer is best known for his work as an assistant U.S. attorney in successfully defending President Barack Obama in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case in which the president’s removal from office was sought. It was alleged that Obama was born outside the United States and thus not constitutionally qualified for office.

DeJute resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on June 30, 2017, after serving there for more than 11 years.

Potential Competitors

With DeJute’s decision not to pursue his candidacy for either office he targeted, there remain three potential candidates for those seats.

Office No. 4: Deputy District Los Angeles County Attorney Alfred Coletta, Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Matthew Schonbrun, and Los Angeles Commissioner A. Verónica Sauceda.

Office No. 16: Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Patricia “Patty” Hunter, Senior Redondo Beach/ Hermosa Beach Deputy City Prosecutor Synde Jane Michel, Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorney Hubert S. Yun. Michel has also filed declarations for Offices No. 118 and No. 146.

 Schonbrun and Michel must choose a race to run in by the March 9 deadline to submit nominating petitions.

There are now 26 candidates in races for 10 open seats, along with two judges each of whom has a single challenger.

Frieman Files Papers

Shlomo Frieman, a candidate for Office No. 126, yesterday became the first non-incumbent to file nominating papers. His ballot designation is “Adjudicator/Attorney/Mediator.”

His opponents in that race are Senior Deputy Los Angeles County Counsel Rene Caldwell Gilbertson and Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorney Ken Fuller.

Deputy District Attorney David A. Berger, who was initially set to run for that seat, also took out nominating papers for Office No. 71, and has said he will file for that seat. He will be pitted against Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Danielle R.A. Gibson.


Copyright 2018, Metropolitan News Company