Connect with us

Judges qualify for merit-retention election

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and a raft of other appellate judges have already qualified to run for this year’s merit-retention election.

The state’s Division of Elections posted the results online.

In order of district, here are the judges who will stand for merit retention:

1st District Court of Appeal (Tallahassee): Ross Bilbrey, Susan Kelsey, Lori S. Rowe, Kent Wetherell, Bo Winokur, Jim Wolf. 

2nd District Court of Appeal (Lakeland): John Badalamenti, Marva L. Crenshaw, Nelly N. Khouzam, Matt Lucas, Robert Morris, Stevan Travis Northcutt, Samuel Salario Jr., Craig C. Villanti, Douglas Alan Wallace. 

3rd District Court of Appeal (Miami): Edwin A. Scales, Linda Ann Wells. 

4th District Court of Appeal (West Palm Beach): Cory J. Ciklin, Dorian K. Damoorgian, Jonathan D. Gerber, Robert Marc Gross, Spencer D. Levine, Melanie G. May. 

5th District Court of Appeal (Daytona Beach): Jay Cohen, James A. Edwards, Brian Lambert, Vincent G. Torpy Jr. 

Qualifying for state offices began noon Monday and will continue until noon Friday.

The state’s appellate judges can serve virtually unlimited six-year terms, after appointment by the governor, until mandatory retirement at age 70.

They must, however, stand every six years for yes-or-no “merit retention votes.” No judge has lost a merit retention election since the system began in the 1970s.

The measure does not apply to trial judges. They must stand for election every six years, though few sitting judges are challenged.

Republicans in the state House this past session tried moving a measure (HB 197) that would have imposed term limits of 12 years for appellate judges.

It failed, but leadership promised that a similar bill would be back next year.

Advertisement
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Michael Moline, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.