Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Renetzky, Gutierrez to Try Again for Superior Court
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Two candidates who lost close run-off contests for the Los Angeles Superior Court last year took out papers yesterday to run again.
Deputy District Attorney Craig Renetzky took out papers to run for the seat of Judge Nancy Brown, who told the MetNews last week she has not decided whether to seek another term, while Workers’ Compensation Judge John Gutierrez prepared to file for the seat now held by Judge Richard C. Hubbell.
Hubbell said Monday he would not seek another term.
Another potential candidate, Deputy District Attorney Laura Priver, also took out papers to run for the Brown seat. Both Priver and Renetzky said they would search out other seats to run for if Brown decides to file.
Renetzky was defeated last November by Richard Naranjo, who now sits in Lancaster. Naranjo was also a deputy district attorney when he ran.
“I plan on using my experiences last time to my benefit,” Renetzky, who drew more than 47 percent of the vote last time, explained. “I’m going to spend more money and I’m a little more organized....I hope to run a better campaign.”
Renetzky has been a prosecutor since 1991. He is a graduate of Colorado College and USC Law School.
He said he is considering several possible choices as a campaign consultant. But he won’t be using Fred Huebscher, who did his previous campaign.
Huebscher is working for Priver.
Priver, 45, said she decided to run for judge because she is at a “crossroads” in her career after 19 years in the District Attorney’s Office, although she is “very happy” with her work.
“I’ve been very lucky,” she said. “I’ve had wonderful assignments,” she added, including her current one as legal adviser to the criminal grand jury.
Priver, a graduate of Indiana University and Whittier School of Law, has been deputy-in-charge of juvenile court prosecution in Compton, Sylmar and Pasadena and was a trial deputy in Pasadena. She has handled a variety of cases, she noted, including sex crimes and homicides.
Gutierrez drew more than 48.6 percent of the vote in losing to then-Deputy District Attorney Richard Walmark. He became the second candidate to pull papers for Hubbell’s seat, after Deputy District Attorney Patrick David Campbell.
Campbell had previously taken out papers to run for the Brown seat, but said yesterday he is now committed to running for the Hubbell seat.
Superior Court Referee Mildred Escobedo has taken out papers to run for the Brown seat, as well as for that of Judge Marcus O. Tucker, who is not running for re-election. Deputy District Attorney Edward Nison and Superior Court Research Attorney Kevin Notre have also taken out papers for the Tucker seat.
Two other prosecutors, Deputy District Attorneys Jeffrey Gootman and Judith L. Meyer, have expressed interest in running for open seats.
Gootman, who works in Lancaster, took out papers Friday to seek the seat of Judge Chesley N. McKay Jr. Gootman said he had not spoken to McKay, but had heard that the judge was not planning to run for another term.
McKay, who has been out sick and is not expected to return to court until January, did not return a phone call seeking comment on his plans.
Meyer, who said several weeks ago she would run for an open seat, has retained Cerrell Associates, Inc. as her consulting firm. She said yesterday she will bide her time before deciding which race to enter.
Monday is the first day for candidates to file declarations of intention to run. The filing deadline is Nov. 5 for incumbents and their challengers, and five days later for those seeking open seats.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company