Judicial Elections Guide 2012

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.

All too often people cast their votes for judges without knowing very much about the candidates they are voting for. But with important issues coming before state courts on a regular basis, it's imperative that you use the voice granted to you by our democracy to elect a fair and impartial candidate.

And remember, you should never vote for a judicial candidate solely because you agree or disagree with one decision. Take time to learn as much as you can about the candidate as a whole.

How can you learn more about these judicial candidates?

  • Find out which judicial candidates are on the ballot by clicking the “Election Information” buttons to the official government websites below
  • Visit a candidate’s official website or request candidate-sponsored campaign literature
  • Conduct your own research by using Internet search engines, such as Google or MSN
  • Read newspapers, other media articles or editorials and blogs
  • Consult state and local bar associations
  • Contact civic leagues and other organizations that may publish guides about candidates
  • Learn more about the candidates through state and local interest groups who focus on issues you care about most
AlabamaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice Glen Murdock (R)
Running unopposed
N/A
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice Thomas A. Woodall (R)
Retiring
Tommy Bryan (R)
Republican nominee for general election

Debra Jones(R)
Defeated in primary

Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice Lyn Stuart
Running unopposed
N/A
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Chief Justice Charles Malone
Defeated in primary
Charles Graddick (R)
Defeated in primary

Harry Lyon (D)
Democtratic Nominee for general election

Roy Moore (R)
Republican nominee for general election

     
     
Alaska Election Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Craig Stowers  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Chief Justice Walter L.Carpeneti  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Daniel E. Winfree  
ArizonaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Robert Brutinel  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice A. John Pelander III.  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Vice Chief Justice Andrew D. Hurwitz  
CaliforniaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention (No high court retention elections this year.)  
ColoradoElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Nathan B.Coats  
ConnecticutElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
DelawareElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.  
FloridaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Barbara Pariente  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice R. Fred Lewis  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Chief Justice Peggy A. Quince  
GeorgiaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein (D)  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice George Carley (D)  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Harold Melton (R)  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Hugh Thompson (D)  
HawaiiElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
IdahoElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Daniel T. Eismann  
IllinoisElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice Mary Jane Theis (D)
Democtratic Nominee for general election
Judge James Riley (R)
Republican nominee for general election

Joy Cunningham (D)
Defeated in primary

Aurelia Marie Pucinski (D)
Defeated in primary

ThomasW. Flannigan (D)
Defeated in primary

IndianaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Robert Rucker  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
  Justice Steven David  
IowaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice David S. Wiggins  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Bruce B. Zager  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Edward Mansfield  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Thomas Waterman  
KansasElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Eric Rosen  
KentuckyElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice William T. Scott Janet L. Stumbo
LouisianaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice John L. Weimer (D)  
MaineElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
MarylandElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention (No high court retention elections this year.)  
MassachusettsElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
MichiganElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Marilyn Kelly (D)
Not running
Shelia Johnson (D)
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Chief Justice Brian Zahra (R) Bridget Mary McCormack (D)
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Stephen J. Markman (R) Connie Marie Kelley (D)
MinnesotaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Barry Anderson  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice David Stras  
MississippiElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Chief Justice William L. Waller, Jr.  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
  Justice Michael K. Randolph  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
  Justice Leslie King  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
  Justice George C. Carlson, Jr.
Retiring
Josiah Coleman

Richard Phillips

Lydia Quarles

MissouriElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention (No high court elections.)  
MontanaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Brian Morris Hertha L. Lund
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice James C. Nelson
Not running
Ed Sheehy

Laurie McKinnon

Elizabeth Best

NebraskaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Kenneth Stephan  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Michael McCormack  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Chief Justice Michael Heavican  
NevadaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Michael A. Cherry  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Michael L. Douglas  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Chief Justice Nancy M. Saitta  
New HampshireElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
New JerseyElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
New MexicoElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan and Retention Justice Richard Bosson
Retention
 
New YorkElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
North CarolinaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Paul Martin Newby Sam J. Ervin, IV
North DakotaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Daniel J. Crothers  
OhioElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Robert Cupp (R) William M. O'Neill (D)
Democratic nominee for general election

Fanon A. Rucker (D)
Defeated in primary

Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Terrence O'Donnell (R) Robert W. Price (D)
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Yvette McGee Brown (D) Sharon L. Kennedy (R)
OklahomaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Douglas L. Combs  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Norma D. Gurich  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice Yvonne Kauger  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice James E. Edmonson  
OregonElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Paul DeMuniz
Retiring
Dave Brewer
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Virginia Linder  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Robert Durham
Retiring
Timothy J Sercombe

Nena Cook

Richard C. Baldwin

PennsylvaniaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention (No high court retention elections this year.)  
Rhode IslandElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
South CarolinaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
South DakotaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention (No high court retention elections this year.)  
TennesseeElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention (No high court retention elections this year.)  
TexasElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice Nathan L. Hecht (R) Michele Petty (D)
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
  Justice David Medina (R) John Devine (R)

Joe Pool, Jr. (R)

Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
  Justice Don R. Willett (R) Steve Smith (R)
UtahElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention (No high court retention elections this year.)  
VermontElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
VirginiaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Appointment (No high court elections.)  
WashingtonElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Susan Owens  
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Tom Chambers
Retiring
Bruce Hilyer

Sheryl McCloud

Richard Sanders

     
     
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan Justice Steven C. Gonzalez  
West VirginiaElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice Robin Jean Davis (D) J.D. Beane (D)

Letitia "Tish" Chafin (D)

Louis Palmer (D)

H. John "Buck" Rogers (D)

Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Partisan Justice Thomas E. McHugh (D)
Retiring
John Yoder (R)

James J. "Jim" Rowe (D)

Allen Loughry (R)

WisconsinElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Voter Election - Nonpartisan (No high court elections.)  
WyomingElection Information
Type of Election Incumbent Challenger(s)
Retention Justice James Burke  

Definitions

Voter Election - Partisan
An election in which multiple candidates may seek the same judicial position. Voters cast ballots for judicial candidates as they do for other public officials. A partisan election is one in which candidates run for a judicial position with the official endorsement of a political party. The candidate’s party affiliation is listed on the ballot.
Voter Election - Nonpartisan
An election in which multiple candidates may seek the same judicial position. Voters cast ballots for judicial candidates as they do for other public officials. An election in which a judicial candidate’s party affiliation, if any, is not designated on the ballot.
Retention
Judges stand for retention election near the end of their term of office. In a retention election, judges do not have opponents. Instead, voters decide whether or not to retain a judge in office. If a judge receives a simple majority of "yes" votes, the judge may serve another full term.
Appointment
There are two types of appointments: Gubernatorial and Legislative. Gubernatorial appointment is the process by which a judge is appointed by the governor (without a judicial nominating commission). The appointment may require confirmation by the legislature or an executive council. A Legislative appointment is the process by which judges are nominated and appointed or elected by legislative vote only.

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