Early voting started today in Pinellas County. There are 5 judicial races that are up for decision…
VOTERS NEED TO GET OUT AND GET GOOD JUDGES INTO OFFICE!
Pinellas County has always had very good judicial candidates; the quality of our courts is reflected in the stability of the seats and the collegial nature of our courts. As usual, all the candidates are solid, and all should continuing campaigning when the next round of seats open up, but voters must make picks this time around…perhaps those that don’t make it through will continue to work and will make it in the next go around!
Here are the judicial races from The Times and my commentary in BOLD:
Laura Snell, 34, said, “I believe I’m the most well-rounded candidate in the race.” She heads the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender’s juvenile division and spent a year in private practice. Snell, who is single, is proud of her community service, including serving as president of the board of the PACE Center for Girls.
Susan St. John, 40, went to the Army after high school, serving as a parachute rigger. After college and law school, she joined the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office, where she now handles gang prosecutions. St. John, who is single, has a 20-year-old disabled son whom she said has taught her patience. She has been active in raising money for fallen police officers.
ST. JOHN HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVE AND INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY FOR YEARS….SHE CAMPAIGNED PREVIOUSLY FOR A JUDICIAL SEAT AND NARROWLY LOST….CONTINUING TO WORK FOR THE SEAT SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT HER CHARACTER..AND HER DESIRE TO SERVE.. SHE’S EARNED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE AS A JUDGE AND WILL BE A TOUGH AND FAIR JUDGE
Ken Lark, 55, went to law school at Florida State University. He went on to start his own practice, where he does guardianship and probate litigation, medical malpractice and health law. He also works as a mediator, recently remarried and is a volunteer community lawyer with the St. Petersburg Housing Authority.
Alicia Polk, 36, was born in Dade City and went to Stetson University College of Law. She started as a prosecutor, then went into private practice, where she concentrates on family, civil and criminal defense law. Married with two young boys, Polk says she is family oriented. She is president of the Academy at the Farm Charter School’s parent-teacher support group and serves on its board.
Alan Scott Rosenthal, 43, was born in the Bronx, grew up in Coral Springs and went to Stetson University College of Law. He has practiced for more than 16 years and worked in criminal, civil, probate, dependency, personal injury, foreclosure defense and bankruptcy law. Married with two children, he is a musician, a martial artist, a member of Shriners International and a woodworker.
LARK HAS BEEN CAMPAIGNING LONGER AND HARDER THAN ANY OF THE OTHER JUDGES FOR ANY OF THE SEATS. HE HAS CROSSED THIS COUNTY FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. IT SEEMS LIKE A LIFETIME AGO THAT HE ANNOUNCED…AND HE’S JUST KEPT AT IT. HE BRINGS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE TO THE RACE AND HAS EARNED THE RIGHT TO WEAR THE ROBE
Brian Battaglia, 53, said, “I think experience matters, and this month actually marks my 28th year of practicing in this circuit.” He handles civil litigation, contracts, business law, land use and health law. He also has been president of the Community Law Program and a UPARC Foundation board member. He is married with two sons.
Kimberly Sharpe, 33, said that as a judge, “You want lawyers who have been in the courtroom . . . and I have done more of that in a much shorter period of time.” She said becoming a partner at a prominent Clearwater law firm within five years gave her “a very intense education in litigation.” Sharpe, who is single, has been a board member of Clearwater’s Homeless Intervention Project.
AGE AND EXPERIENCE MATTERS. BATTAGLIA HAS BOTH. CITIZENS NEED SEASONED PROFESSIONALS WHO BRING DECADES OF PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE FROM A VARIETY OF PERSPECTIVES…AND BATTAGLIA DOES.
Amanda Lea Colon, 38, got her law degree from the University of Florida and has worked as a prosecutor and an assistant attorney general. She is versed in trial and appellate law, she said, and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator. She’s married and has three daughters. She has had her own practice for a number of years.
Phil Matthey, 37, was a deputy in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office before he was a prosecutor. He patrolled streets and worked traffic stops. But, he said, he wanted to have a bigger impact, so he went to Stetson University College of Law. He is an assistant state attorney and said his experience makes him the most qualified. He recently married and is active in various public service organizations.
MATTHEY BRINGS A LIFETIME OF EXPERIENCE TO THE CAMPAIGN AND WILL FAIRLY SERVE…
BRUCE BOYER HAS SERVED AS A JUDGE IN THIS COMMUNITY FOR MORE THAN 24 YEARS…AMONG THE LAWYERS THAT PRACTICE I’VE NEVER HEARD, AND CANNOT IMAGINE THAT ANYONE HAS A REAL CRITICISM OF THIS VERY, VERY GOOD JUDGE. HIS RECORD AND HIS TEMPERAMENT ARE IMPECCABLE….IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT THIS FINE JUDGE WILL NOT CONTINUE TO SERVE…HE SHOULD CERTAINLY BE VOTED THROUGH!
ACTIVE REGISTERED VOTERS as of (08/11/2014)Republicans: