Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, November 8, 2019


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Ex-Stanislaus Judge With First Name of ‘Judge’ Becomes Candidate

Sacramento ALJ Who Was Briefly a Challenger Last Year Files Declaration for Open Seat


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A retired Stanislaus Superior Court judge—whose first name is “Judge”—and an administrative law judge who sits in Sacramento are the latest to enter judicial races in Los Angeles County.

Filing a declaration of intent yesterday to run for Office No. 76 was Judge Mike Cummins who, when appointed to the Stanislaus Municipal Court in 1994, was known as “Michael Cummins.” He became a judge of the county’s Superior Court when, by a majority vote of the judges, trial court unification took place, effective July 30, 1998.

He went on leave from the bench in 2006 to run, unsuccessfully, for the post of district attorney of Stanislaus County and, apparently, did not return. Last year, he ran unsuccessfully for district attorney of San Luis Obispo County, where he now lives, and was defeated, decisively, by the incumbent.

Change of Name

In June 2016, he obtained a change of name so that he would appear on the ballot as “Judge Mike Cummins.” 

His residency in San Luis Obispo is no hindrance to his candidacy here; there is no residency requirement for Superior Court judges.

Cummins’s law degree is from the University of Arkansas.

Five candidates have taken out declarations of intent to run for Office No. 76; the only two who have filed them are Cummins and criminal defense attorney David D. Diamond.

McKay Seeks Office

Also entering a judicial contest yesterday was Klint James McKay, an administrative law judge with the state Department of Social Services. Last year, he declared his candidacy for the seat held by Judge Kristin Escalante, but quickly backed out when he detected antagonism over his targeting an incumbent.

Feb. 7 was the deadline in 2018 for incumbents and challengers to file declarations of intent. He explained that he ran against Escalante because it would not be known until Feb. 8 whether there would be any oi[pen seats, and then it would be too late to run.

In fact, 10 seats were known to be open and, in any event, there is a five-day extension for declaring for any seat where the incumbent has not filed a declaration.

McKay, who was an actor in a 2006 film, “Living the Dream,” has a law degree from Wayne State University Law School in Michigan.

He filed a declaration for Office No. 80. The only other candidate in that race is immigration attorney Robert F. Jacobs.

Additional Declarations

Private practitioner Tom Parsekian, who previously filed a declaration for Office No. 129, yesterday filed one for Office No. 150. Declarations for that seat have also been filed by Deputy District Attorneys Manuel Alejandro Almada and Scott Andrew Yang; attorney Timothy D. Reuben has taken out but not filed it.

Reuben has now pulled declarations for 10 of the 12 open seats that will be on the March 3 ballot.

Candidates need not make a final decision as to which seat they will seek until filing nominating papers, due Dec. 6. Declarations for open seats may be filed up until Tuesday.

No judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court was challenged this year.


Copyright 2019, Metropolitan News Company