The rumor is that all the regular judges in the county hate the family court. They like putting gang members in jail, or evicting tenants, or even putting kids in foster care, but they hate family court where they have to listen to lying parents and then micromanage their lives.
A local free weekly reports on one of the three candidates:
Philip Crawford's law career varies from the traditional track, which he says would bring a different and he believes welcome perspective to the bench. The four-decade Santa Cruz resident started as a police officer in San Jose. He then went back to school to earn his law degree and taught law for a number of years.If he is elected, then he could get all the county family court cases for years to come.
He also served as a court administrator in Contra Costa County, helping to oversee other attorneys and track legal decisions in family law.
If elected, Crawford would ask to use that background as the designated judge for the family court. The practice in Santa Cruz County has been for judges to alternate assignments, but he would relish the chance to provide a stable presence.
"Nothing changes more often than family law. People rotating in and out is not good for kids and families," said Crawford, who believes that the county's other Superior Court judges would welcome the chance to avoid what can be an unpopular assignment.
"That's where my primary interest is," he said.
The article says the local lawyers are pushing for Gallagher, a public defender. The third candidate is a prosecutor, and most of these judges are ex-prosecutors.
The lawyers in town probably like public defenders better than prosecutors and cops, so their preference does not mean much.
Does anyone know anything useful about these guys? I'd like to be an informed voter, but I don't have much to go on. I am suspicious of anyone who wants to run other peoples' lives. But maybe Crawford has some experience making domestic violence arrests, and would be an improvement.
Update: Crawford's web site is at http://crawford4judge.com. He believes that the family courts use too much voodoo psychobabble. I am convinced!