Judicial Election Season Opens:
Judge Who Has Served for 40 Years Won’t Seek to Succeed Himself
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Cary H. Nishimoto, third on his court’s seniority list, has confirmed that he will not be running for reelection next year, and one potential candidate for his seat—Office No. 135—has taken out a petition on which he hopes to collect signatures, each of which will shave costs from the filing fee.
Nishimoto, 78, was appointed to his post on May 12, 1987 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian after serving as a judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court since July 6, 1984, placed there, also, by Deukmejian. He was, at the time of going on the bench, a sole practitioner and a former deputy Los Angeles city attorney.
Taking out a “signatures in lieu” petition on Thursday was Hermosa Beach attorney Mohammad Ali Fakhreddine, who was admitted to practice on Dec. 2, 2008. He is a graduate of the Abraham Lincoln University School of Law in Glendale, which the State Bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners classes as an “unaccredited distance-learning law school” that “conducts instruction and provides interactive classes principally online.”
Judges Seeking Signatures
Judges who are up for election next year and have taken out in-lieu petitions as of mid-day Friday are Michelle Ahnn, Francis Bennett, Stephanie Bowick, Malik C. Burroughs, Michael D. Carter, James C. Chalfant, Ed Chau, Pamela J. Dansby, Michele Elizabeth Flurer, E. Carlos Dominguez, Danielle R. A. Gibbons, Mark C. Kim, Ruth Ann Kwan, Lauren A.R. Lofton, Thomas D. Long, Ana Maria Luna, Jerry B. Marshak, Lia Martin, Judith L. Meyer, Tiana J. Murillo, Mary Ann Murphy, Kevin S. Rosenberg, Wendy Segall, J. Christopher Smith, Emily Theresa Spear, Shelly Torrealba, and David I. Wasserman.
The period for filing declarations of intent to run begins on Oct. 30 and ends Nov. 8 except that there is a five-day extension during which a non-incumbent may file a declaration for a seat where the incumbent has not filed. It is permissible to file a declaration for more than one seat.
Nov. 8 is also the deadline for filing in-lieu petitions. If enough signatures have been accumulated to cover the filing fee, nomination papers (with at least 20 valid signatures of registered voters and not more than 40) need not be submitted.
However, three signatures will reduce the filing fee by $1, and the filing fee for Superior Court seats is $2,323.99, meaning that 6,972 valid signatures would have to be obtained to satisfy the entire fee.
The nomination period runs from Nov. 13 to Dec. 8, also with a five-day extension where the incumbent does not turn in nomination papers.
During the period, candidates may purchase a space for a candidate statement in the sample ballot booklet, an option that has in past elections not proved cost-effective.
The primary election will be held March 5, though vote-by-mail ballots will be sent no later than Feb. 5 and vote centers will open Feb. 24.
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