Thursday, November 8, 2001
Superior Court Judges C. Robert Simpson, Floyd Baxter Challenged
Judge Reginald Dunn Unexpectedly Files for Reelection, May Face Challenge
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Reginald Dunn, in a last minute surprise, filed his declaration of intent to run for reelection yesterday and two incumbents—Judges Floyd Baxter and C. Robert Simpson Jr.—were challenged.
Baxter, who sits in Newhall, was challenged by an attorney from that community, Ross A. Stucker. Stucker could not be reached for comment.
Filing against Simpson was Kenneth Wright, an attorney with the Glendale firm of Cline and Associates. Wright, who had earlier taken out papers for the seat of newly appointed Judge Leslie Brown, has not returned MetNews phone calls.
Two candidates who had filed for Dunn’s seat, Deputy District Attorney Richard Walmark, and civil attorney Thomas Warden, both expressed surprise.
Commissioner Glenda Veasey, the other candidate, who filed a declaration for the seat Glenda Veasey, could not be reached for comment, nor could Dunn.
Veasey said earlier that she considered Dunn a close friend, and was hopeful of receiving his endorsement for the seat.
Walmark and Warden both said they were disinclined to run against the incumbent and would consider other options. There are four open seats for which candidates may file declarations up until Tuesday at 5 p.m.
All other incumbent Superior Court judges are, for all practical purposes, assured of reelection, since none drew challengers by yesterday’s deadline.
The open seats are those now held by Judges Michael Pirosh, Richard Spann, Michael Kanner, and David Finkel.
Filing yesterday for the Pirosh seat was Deputy District Attorney Hank Goldberg, a member of the O.J. Simpson prosecution team. He becomes the third candidate in the race, joining Santa Monica attorney Joseph Deering and Superior Court Commis-
sioner Jeffery Marckese.
Goldberg said he would not shy away from any criticism of his work on the Simpson case, easily the best known of those he has worked on in his 15 years as a prosecutor.
“I’m proud of the work I did in the case,” Goldberg said. “…I don’t have anything to regret.”
He said he would not be reflexively opposed to broadcast coverage of trials.
“A judge must use discretion very wisely,” he said. “The media can be a great force for educating people about the law.”
Goldberg, a graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School, joined the District Attorney’s Office in 1985. He took a year off in the late 1980’s to practice business litigation in the Los Angeles office of the now-defunct law firm of Pettit & Martin.
Goldberg said he is still considering whether to hire a professional consultant to work on the campaign.
Workers Compensation Judge Donald Renetzky who had taken out papers to run for several seats, filed for the Pirosh seat.
His son, deputy District Attorney Craig Renetzky, is running for the Spann seat.
Yesterday also saw two other candidates who had wavered among several races file their declarations of intent.
Former Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Richard Espinoza filed for the seat being vacated by Kanner. His opponent is Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis Birnstein.
Pasadena attorney David Crawford filed for Finkel’s seat. His opponent is Deputy District Attorney David Gelfound.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company