Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Marion County Democratic Judicial Slate Prevails

Angela Davis, Democratic
Candidate, Marion County
Superior Court
The eight slated candidates prevailed in the Marion County Democratic judge race.  The top three candidates were first time candidate Angela Davis (20,241), Judge Barbara Cook Crawford (19,773) and Judge Annie Christ-Garcia (18,774).  Finishing out of the running were David Hennessy (10,059) and Greg Bowes (8,549).  The lowest slated candidates were Judges James Osborne (15,512) and David Dreyer (16,227).

These results confirmed everything I have thought about these list type races where few voters know the candidates:
  • The party slate performs better in low turnout primaries such as mid-term elections when there is no presidential race on the ballot.
  • Female candidates have a huge edge on male candidates.  Not only on the Democratic side did women lead the field, on the Republican side, a woman, Judge Cynthia Ayres, finished first in the voting.
  • Having a common name is very helpful.  "Angela Davis" is a common name.  She had never been a candidate before.  I highly doubt 90% of the voters yesterday could have told you the first thing about Angela Davis.  Yet she led the field.
  • Being at the top of the ballot helps.
In short, if you are a female candidate, with a common name, at the top of the ballot in a presidential election year, you have a much, much better chance of beating the slate of judicial candidates.  An example of that is former Judge Kim Brown's victory over the slate in 2008.

Nonetheless, I expect that this election season probably marks the end of the Marion County system of selecting judges, including slating which involves judicial candidates paying tens of thousands of dollars in slating fees in contravention of the judicial ethics rules.

1 comment:

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