Voter preference in Los Angeles County's judicial races coincided very closely with rankings that reflected the best judgment of their peers -- other attorneys and judges.
In the semi-official results from the June primary, all of the top vote-getters were equally or more qualified for the job compared to other candidates, according to rankings released in mid-May by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, a voluntary nonprofit professional organization not to be confused with the State Bar.
LACBA's judicial evaluations committee conducted a background investigation on each candidate, sending out questionnaires to up to 75 of their peers and interviewing them in person when possible. The published report serves alongside newspaper and other media endorsements as one way to shed light on what is otherwise a very low-profile and murky aspect of our electoral process in California, since judges cannot campaign in the traditional sense and information about the candidates can be hard to come by for non-insiders.
The report is not helpful in every case, since it includes only four possible rankings and two or all of the candidates can receive the same one. But wherever there was a difference, voters went with the candidate who received the higher rating. Below are the vote tallies alongside the LACBA rankings for each judicial race.
|SEAN D. COEN||300,603||51.38||Qualified|
|JOE ESCALANTE||107,721||18.41||Not Qualified|
|LAURENCE N. KALDOR||65,395||11.18||Not Qualified|
|HON. SANJAY T. KUMAR||349,417||60.6||Exceptionally Well Qualified|
|KIM SMITH||227,207||39.4||Not Qualified|
|HON. LYNN D. OLSON||381,350||69.75||Not Qualified|
|DOUGLAS W. WEITZMAN||165,372||30.25||Not Qualified|
|ANDREA C. THOMPSON||309,636||54.69||Well Qualified|
|HON. JAMES D. OTTO||396,224||69.91||Exceptionally Well Qualified|
|KENNETH R. HUGHEY||170,568||30.0||Not Qualified|
|ERIC HARMON||353,429||61.35||Well Qualified|
|BERJ PARSEGHIAN||115,989||20.13||Well Qualified|
|BEN M. BREES||106,705||18.52||Qualified|