Judicial Forum Gives Voters a Chance to Judge the Judges
Eleven candidates are seeking five contested seats on the Sixth Circuit bench, which serves Pinellas and Pasco counties.
PINELLAS COUNTY – The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College will help voters get to know candidates for seats on the Sixth Judicial Circuit bench at a July 25 candidate forum.
The forum will be from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at the Clearwater campus of SPC, 2465 Drew Street, Clearwater. Advance registration is requested at solutions.spcollege.edu.
Judicial races are among the least-noticed aspects of the primary election campaign, yet the outcomes of those races are among the most important. The obscurity occurs because the Judicial Canon imposes strict limits on the way candidates can raise campaign funds and what they can say on the campaign trail.
There are 11 candidates seeking one of the five contested seats on the 6th Circuit bench, which serves Pinellas and Pasco counties. Other incumbent judges whose terms expire this year are unopposed and thus automatically re-elected. Circuit Court judges serve six-year terms with no term limits. To qualify, candidates must be a member of the Florida Bar and have lived in Florida for at least five years.
By law, judicial races are nonpartisan, to prevent politics from tainting the impartiality of the courts. So candidates bear no party labels, and they are forbidden to make predictions or promises about issues that could arise once they are on the bench.
A panel led by retired Judge Irene Sullivan and St. Petersburg College Dean Susan Demers will question the candidates, within the legal limitations.
The judicial election is Aug. 28.
Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions | Politics | Elections | Judges | Tampabay News
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