20 Emerge as Potential Contenders in 2002 Judicial Contests
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts
The field of Los Angeles Superior Court candidates grew by a net of one yesterday, as two candidates entered races and one announced contender dropped out.
Throwing their hats in
the ring, on the last day of the extended filing period for open seats, were
Christian filed for the seat being vacated by Judge Michael Kanner. His opponents are Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis Birnstein, mid-Wilshire civil practitioner Robert S. Harrison, State Bar Court Judge Michael D. Marcus, former Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Richard Espinoza, and Encino attorney Thomas Warden.
Warden originally filed for the seat of Judge Reginald Dunn, who reportedly was planning to step down. When Dunn filed for reelection just before last Wednesday’s deadline, Warden said he would look at the other contests.
Friday, he filed for the Kanner seat.
Two other candidates filed for Dunn’s seat, Deputy District Attorney Richard Walmark and Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Glenda Veasey. Walmark said he would stay in the race against Dunn, but Veasey said she would not.
Veasey did not file for another seat by yesterday’s deadline. Her only opportunity to run for judge this year would come if Dunn, or another incumbent who filed a declaration of intent, does not finalize a candidacy by returning nomination documents by Dec. 7.
In that event, a new five-day filing period would open.
Lubell filed for the
seat being vacated by Judge David Finkel. His opponents are Deputy District
Attorney David Gelfound, State Bar Court Judge Paul Bacigalupo, and
Christian and Lubell could not be reached for comment.
Lubell has run for the bench before. In 1994, Lubell lost the judicial race for the vacated by former Rep. James Rogan to then-Deputy District Attorney James Simpson.
Christian is a graduate
The candidate who dropped an announced candidacy was Los Angeles Superior Court Referee Alan Friedenthal. Friedenthal had said he would run for the seat being vacated by Judge Richard Spann.
Friedenthal was not available for comment yesterday but Fred Huebscher, the Hermosa Beach-based consultant who was preparing to run the campaign, said he may have thrown a damper on the plan by telling Friedenthal his candidacy was a longshot.
“I’m sure Alan would make a great judge,” Huebscher said. “I would have been delighted to work for him.”
But Friedenthal would have had a difficult and expensive time, Huebscher said, going up against three opponents—Deputy District Attorneys Craig Renetzky and Richard Naranjo and Acton attorney Larry H. Layton.
The “criminal prosecutor” designation on the ballot is a powerful one, Huebscher said. The consultant handled the successful campaigns of prosecutors Katherine Mader, Richard Stone, and David Mintz for open Superior Court seats last year.
In contrast, he said, the average voter has no idea what a Superior Court referee does. That leaves a candidate like Friedenthal at a substantial disadvantage in a race, Huebscher said.
Huebscher added he will
now work for Renetzky, whose father, Worker’s Compensation Judge Donald
Renetzy, is running against Deputy District Attorney Hank Goldberg, Superior
Court Commissioner Jeffrey Marckese, and
Huebscher declined comment on whether he would be working for the senior Renetzy.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company