Friday, October 17, 2003
Deputy District Attorney Edward Nison Enters Race For Open Superior Court Seat
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Deputy District Attorney Edward Nison took out papers yesterday to run for the open seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Nison, 46, joins Los Angeles attorney and part-time Superior Court referee Mildred Escobedo as the only candidates to begin the process of collecting signatures to run for the seat of Judge Marcus O. Tucker.
The incumbent said Wednesday he would not run for another term, the only judge whose seat is on the March 2 ballot to make such a statement.
Candidates must collect 5,592 signatures of registered voters, or pay a filing fee of $1,397.84, when they file their declarations of intention to run, which are due no later than Nov. 5.
Another candidate, Deputy District Attorney Judith L. Meyer, announced earlier she would run for the first open seat. And Superior Court Commissioner Donna Groman said Wednesday she was considering the race as well.
Another potential judicial candidate, Deputy District Attorney Patrick David Campbell, took out papers yesterday for the seat now held by Judge Nancy Brown. But Campbell told the MetNews he will only run for the seat if Brown, who said she is undecided whether to seek another term, decides not to.
Nison, who grew up in Ohio and graduated from Indiana University before coming west to attend Hastings College of the Law, said running for the bench is “a logical extension of my career.” Having spent his entire 18-year legal career in the District Attorney’s Office, handling a wide variety of assignments, has put him in the “unique position of being able to make critical decisions,” he said.
He is currently assigned to the Training Division, but previously spent more than four years prosecuting environmental crimes and over eight years in the Hardcore Gang Unit.
“Common sense, fairness and integrity” will be the hallmarks of his judicial philosophy, he said. “I try to be intellectually honest.”
He thinks he can win what is likely to be a hotly contested race, he said, because his credentials should make him attractive to newspaper editorial boards and other endorsing bodies and because he is willing to spend $100,000 on a campaign.
He has not hired a campaign consultant, but is considering doing so, he explained.
Campbell, an 18-year veteran of the local prosecutor’s office who also has civil litigation experience, said he plans to run under the “nice Irish-Scot” name of Pat Campbell, although he generally goes by Dave in the legal community.
Some observers have suggested that the gender-ambiguous nickname of “Pat” may attract women voters in a low-visibility judicial race. Former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patrick Murphy ran as Pat when he defeated then-Citrus Municipal Court Judge Abe Khan in 1992 and again when he made it into a runoff before losing to then-Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Karl Jaeger for an open Superior Court seat in 1996.
Campbell denied any intent to obfuscate.
“I’ve been called Pat my whole life,” he said. “It’s my name.”
Campbell grew up on Merrick, N.Y., on Long Island, before graduating from George Washington University and the American University School of Law. He began his legal career as a prosecutor in Florida—first in Miami and later in West Palm Beach—then came west with plans to do civil litigation.
He spent two years with a pair of Los Angeles firms, doing personal injury work at one and business litigation with the other before deciding to return to his original choice of criminal prosecution.
He spent much of his career in downtown Los Angeles, first doing trials and later appellate work. He has been in the San Fernando Valley since 2000, and said he currently spends much of his time dealing with legal issues surrounding implementation of Proposition 36, which permits many defendants accused of simple drug possession to avoid incarceration by completing treatment programs.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company