Broward County Judges Face Unprecedented Opposition

With almost a month left for candidates to file to run for circuit or county judge in Broward County, this election is already showing signs of being unusually interesting race.

Traditionally, Broward County lawyers have shied away from running against an incumbent judge for fear of committing career suicide, but so far 12 sitting Broward judges have challengers. In the past two and a half decades, only 17 incumbent judges have faced challengers and only six have been defeated.

According to an article in The South Florida Sun Sentinel, this shift may be due to several factors, among them a courthouse gossip blog that eggs on lawyers to run for judge as well as the allure of a government salary and pension amidst a difficult financial climate. The salary of circuit judges is just over $145,000, while county judges earn $137,020 annually.

In the past few years, headlines have also painted an unflattering picture of several Broward judges, including one judge who was caught smoking marijuana in a Hollywood park and another who is accused of having inappropriate relations with the prosecutor in a death-penalty trial. We’ll be watching with interest to see how this plays out.

Source: 12 Broward judges facing challengers in unprecedented judicial election, South Florida Sun Sentinel, March 30, 2010
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