Eleven of 16 races for Oklahoma County choose seats had been already determined earlier than Tuesday’s main election as a result of solely the incumbents filed or nonetheless stay on the poll. Nonetheless, 4 district choose seats and one affiliate district choose place are nonetheless up for grabs, and so they characteristic a mixed 14 candidates.
As a result of the Workplace 14 race solely incorporates two candidates, Kathryn Savage and James Siderias, that election will solely be on the Nov. 8 common election poll.
Judicial elections at this state’s district degree preserve an attention-grabbing political dynamic. Not like federal judges who’re appointed by the president, judicial seats at Oklahoma’s district degree are elected, which means they are often influenced by cash. Usually, that cash is donated by attorneys, as a result of they most care who serves on the bench. However the battle will be inherent and apparent, as attorneys who donate to and knock doorways for judicial candidates can find yourself arguing instances in entrance of their favored candidate in the event that they prevail.
Each district judges and affiliate district judges are elected to four-year phrases. This text presents a take a look at every of the candidates in aggressive Oklahoma County judicial elections. If no candidate wins a easy majority of votes within the June 28 main election, then the highest two vote earners will compete within the Nov. 8 common election.
The next info was gathered from publicly accessible sources, in addition to a judicial discussion board hosted by the League of Girls Voters of Oklahoma County. Marketing campaign web sites or Fb accounts are linked on every candidate’s title, and candidates are introduced in alphabetical order.
Workplace 3: Incumbent Palumbo battles Easter, Lopez
Merydith Easter has labored as an Oklahoma County assistant district lawyer since she graduated from the College of Oklahoma School of Regulation 11 years in the past. She has spent seven years prosecuting bodily and sexual abuse crimes in opposition to youngsters, and he or she is at present employed because the home violence staff chief within the Oklahoma County DA’s Workplace, in accordance with her marketing campaign web site. Easter’s father, Donald Easter, is a former particular district court docket choose in Oklahoma County.
Through the judicial discussion board hosted by the League of Girls Voters of Oklahoma County, Easter claimed incumbent Amy Palumbo is handing down sentences to defendants primarily based on “who you recognize, what you appear like and the way a lot cash is in your checking account.” Easter additionally claimed that protection attorneys who’ve given most donations to Palumbo’s marketing campaign have represented defendants in instances over which Palumbo presides.
Joan Lopez is an lawyer at Lopez & Johnson, and he or she has greater than 20 years of expertise in felony protection, in addition to divorce, immigration and chapter instances, in accordance with an previous Fb account of hers. Nonetheless, she doesn’t seem to take care of a web based presence, nor does she seem to have a marketing campaign web site.
Lopez didn’t attend the judicial discussion board hosted by the League of Girls Voters of Oklahoma County.
Amy Palumbo (incumbent)
Incumbent Decide Amy Palumbo presides over a felony docket in Workplace 3 and was first elected to the seat within the 2018 main election, ousting then incumbent Howard Haralson. She previously labored as a felony prosecutor and led a division of the home violence activity power within the Oklahoma County District Legal professional’s Workplace, in accordance with her Fb.
On her web site, Palumbo says she prays to God day by day earlier than taking the bench and that her “aim is to someday be remembered for having exceeded the excessive requirements this place calls for.” She married to lawyer Marco Palumbo.
Palumbo didn’t attend the judicial discussion board hosted by the League of Girls Voters of Oklahoma County.
Workplace 5: Phillips, Seabolt problem Mai
Natalie Mai (incumbent)
Incumbent Decide Natalie Mai was first elected to the bench in 2018. Through the LWVOKC discussion board, Mai stated she at present has “two jobs,” presiding over each a felony and civil docket after former Decide Ray Elliott retired in February. She graduated along with her juris doctorate from Oklahoma Metropolis College in 2009 and began a personal observe that “helped with small companies.” She additionally practiced felony protection on the state and federal degree.
Throughout Tuesday’s discussion board, when requested if felony justice reform is required, Mai spoke about different sentencing choices and said that judges have sources accessible to assist with “the discount of individuals within the jail.”
Beau Phillips graduated from the Oklahoma Metropolis College College of Regulation in 2007. He at present serves within the U.S. Military Reserves, in accordance with his marketing campaign web site. After graduating regulation faculty, he labored within the Oklahoma County public defender’s workplace for six years. He has expertise in each felony and civil litigation, and he calls instances which might be heard within the Juvenile Justice Middle those which might be “near his coronary heart.”
“I’ve since 2016 gained loads of expertise in that courthouse,” Phillips stated throughout Tuesday’s discussion board. “I wish to put my enter in for the judiciary to attempt to make that system higher as properly.”
Jason Seabolt graduated together with his juris doctorate from the Oklahoma Metropolis College of College of Regulation in 2016. In his six years practising as an lawyer, he has targeted on civil regulation, primarily contract, actual property, oil and gasoline and probate litigation, he stated throughout Tuesday’s discussion board.
If elected to the Workplace 5 seat, Seabolt says he desires to streamline the scheduling processes and “make the decision-making course of extra clear” for each attorneys and litigates, notably on the civil aspect.
Workplace 13: Eddy, Garcia face Stitt appointee Kirkpatrick
Rand Eddy has been a civil rights and felony protection lawyer for 35 years, in accordance with his marketing campaign web site. After incomes his juris doctorate from Oklahoma Metropolis College in 1987, he labored as an Oklahoma County public defender for 2 years, then as a federal public defender for one more two years. Nearly all of his felony protection work has been on the federal degree, and “95 p.c” of his work has concerned purchasers who’ve been discriminated in opposition to by employers, he stated throughout Tuesday’s judicial discussion board.
“If I’m elected to the bench, I’m going to convey fairness, equanimity, humanity to my courtroom,” Eddy stated Tuesday.
His son, Jess Eddy, is a distinguished activist in Oklahoma Metropolis’s progressive group who has been concerned in a lot of high-profile demonstrations over the previous two years.
Miguel Garcia has expertise in felony protection regulation in instances akin to, manslaughter, DUIs, fraud, assault and battery, possession of managed and harmful substances, drug trafficking and intercourse crimes, in accordance with his regulation agency’s web site. He additionally practices immigration regulation, solely specializing in acquiring residency, U.S. citizenship, and DACA instances.
Garcia didn’t attend Tuesday’s judicial discussion board.
Nikki Kirkpatrick (incumbent)
Incumbent Decide Nikki Kirkpatrick was appointed as an Oklahoma County district choose by Gov. Kevin Stitt in April 2021 to fill an unexpired time period. Previous to her appointment, Kirkpatrick labored within the shopper safety unit on the Legal professional Normal’s Workplace, and he or she previously labored as a prosecutor within the Oklahoma County District Legal professional’s Workplace, specializing in home violence prosecution.
Throughout Tuesday’s discussion board, Kirkpatrick stated she wished to grow to be a choose to proceed her ardour “of serving to folks” in order that they’ll get a “truthful shake in court docket” and switch their lives round.
Affiliate district choose: Kirby faces Henry, Singleton
Christian Henry has been a trial lawyer for 30 years and has tried “nearly each case there’s,” he stated throughout Tuesday’s discussion board. He has expertise practising felony regulation and juvenile regulation, in addition to working within the public defender’s workplace in Caddo County and Grady County. He then labored as an assistant district lawyer in Latimer County “for a lot of years,” he stated.
Henry is at present underneath contract within the juvenile justice system and stated that, historically, the affiliate district choose serves because the presiding choose for that system. Henry stated he wish to serve that function if elected. “I do know it’s naive of me to suppose that I can stroll in and retain that seat, however I’d certain prefer to strive,” Henry stated Tuesday.
Richard Kirby (incumbent)
Incumbent Decide Richard Kirby was first elected affiliate district choose in Oklahoma County in 2007, initially serving because the supervising choose for juvenile courts. Since 2014, he has presided over instances involving probate, guardianships and adoptions in Oklahoma County. Beforehand, Kirby additionally served as an lawyer for former Gov. Frank Keating. He’s trying to win his fourth reelection bid this yr.
Throughout Tuesday’s discussion board, Kirby was requested whether or not felony justice reforms are wanted in Oklahoma.
“Sure. Legal justice reform ought to be checked out, at any time that it’s being introduced. We ought to be given the chance to be contemplating new instruments as we go alongside,” Kirby stated. “We’re a society that we be taught as we go.”
After graduating along with her juris doctorate from the College of Oregon in 2011, Angela Singleton started working as an assistant district lawyer within the Oklahoma County Courthouse, primarily prosecuting homicides and violent criminals. In 2016, she opened her personal non-public felony protection observe, the place she has represented defendants charged with DUI, drug offenses, gun costs, home violence amongst different offenses.
“We’d like contemporary perspective — change — so we will convey our Oklahoma County Courthouse into a brand new period, one by which our group can have belief, equity and respect.” Singleton stated Tuesday.
Pair of particular judges on Nov. 8 poll for Ray Elliott’s vacated seat
Kathryn Savage serves as a particular choose in Oklahoma County, and was first sworn into that place in November 2017. She beforehand served as an assistant district lawyer in Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Muskogee counties, and as a prosecutor within the Legal professional Normal’s Workplace within the multi-county grand jury unit. Savage stated throughout Tuesday’s discussion board that her previous hardships — particularly rising up in poverty — have made her extra relatable to these she sees on her docket.
“I believe that provides me a perspective that lots of people don’t have, and that’s one thing that you simply want while you’re seeing these sorts of people who find themselves struggling,” Savage stated.
James Siderias additionally serves as a particular choose in Oklahoma County, starting his tenure in April 2020. Previous to that, he labored as a prosecutor for greater than a decade, prosecuting baby abuse, intercourse crimes and violent offenders, in accordance with his marketing campaign web site. In non-public observe, he targeted on felony protection and household regulation.
“I believe what I convey to the desk is transparency, discernment and a few information in regards to the regulation,” Siderias stated throughout Tuesday’s discussion board. “I attempt to apply my time as a prosecutor, my time as a personal felony protection lawyer and civil litigation into all the choices I make.”
11 robotically reelected Oklahoma County choose
Eleven incumbent Oklahoma County district judges went and not using a challenger submitting of their race, which means they had been all robotically reelected to their respective posts for one more 4 years. All judges that ran unopposed are listed under:
- Aletia Timmons was first elected to a district choose seat in 2014. She at present presides over a civil docket;
- Kaitlyn Allen, who was appointed as an Oklahoma County district choose by Gov. Kevin Stitt in August 2021, works within the Juvenile Justice Middle. Allen’s sole opponent, Brian Younger, was struck from the poll after the Oklahoma State Election Board dominated in a 3-0 vote that he was not a authorized resident of the correct electoral division on the time he filed his candidacy;
- Kenneth Stoner at present presides over the Oklahoma County drug court docket. He was appointed by former Gov. Mary Fallin in 2017;
- Brent Dishman, who presides over a civil docket in Oklahoma County, was appointed to the court docket by Stitt on Oct. 11, 2021, to exchange Tim Henderson, who stays underneath felony investigation for alleged sexual misconduct;
- Cindy Truong, who was first elected in 2018, at present oversees a civil docket;
- Heather Coyle was first elected in 2018. She at present presides over a felony docket;
- Anthony Bonner, who was appointed by Stitt on April 5, 2021, presides over a civil docket;
- Susan Stallings was first elected in 2018. She presides over each a felony and civil docket;
- Richard Ogden was first elected in 2018. He presides over a civil docket;
- Sheila Stinson, who was appointed by Stitt on July 17, 2020, presides over each a felony and civil docket;
- Don Andrews, who was first elected in 2014, handles a civil docket.