10 judicial candidates speak at Tampa Tiger Bay Club

07/18/08 Seán Kinane
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The primary is just over a month away. In addition to voting for candidates of the same party running against each other on Aug. 26, all registered voters can weigh in on contested judicial seats.

Today, the Tiger Bay Club of Tampa held a forum for all 10 candidates in the five contested races for Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge.

All five of these judicial races are countywide and nonpartisan. Three of the races are for open seats and two feature a judicial hopeful running against an incumbent. The contest for Circuit Court Judge Group 7 is between Catherine M. Catlin and incumbent Judge Kevin Carey.

When he was elected in 2002, Carey won 63 percent of the vote. Carey’s opponent, Catherine M. Catlin, started her own law firm in 1995.

The other incumbent who faces a challenger is Judge Martha Cook, who was elected the same year as Carey to be the Circuit Court Judge, Group 30. Judge Cook’s opponent is Constance Daniels, who became a mother when she was a teenager and began her career as an Assistant Public Defender.

The other three judicial seats are open. Caroline Tesche and Jason D. Montes face off for Circuit Court Judge, Group 1. Tesche served as an intern the office of Rudy Guiliani and as a prosecutor under Janet Reno in Miami.

Running against Tesche is Jason D. Montes, who said that he started practicing law six years ago.

The race for Circuit Court Judge, Group 2, is between Miriam Velez and Samantha Ward. Velez said she is running for judge because she believes “in the concept of justice.” Samantha Wardhas worked for 14 years with Public Defender Julie Holt.

The fifth Circuit Court Judge race is in Group 21, where Linda Courtney Clark is facing off against Lisa Campbell. Clark began her career practicing civil litigation with a local law firm. Campbell calls herself a “balanced candidate.”

The candidates will meet again in a public forum on July 29 at the West Tampa Library. The forum is sponsored by several Democratic Party groups and will be moderated by WMNF’s Mitch Perry.

The next Tampa Tiger Bay Club meeting will be on Aug. 26 and will feature Hillsborough County candidates for County Commission, School Board and Property Appraiser.

Photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

The Tiger Bay Club of Tampa

Circuit Court Judge, Grp. 1
Caroline Tesche

Jason D. Montes

Circuit Court Judge, Grp. 2

Samantha Ward – 813-464-0766 – wardsamantha@hotmail.com

Miriam Velez

Circuit Court Judge, Grp. 7
Kevin Carey Catherine M. Catlin

Circuit Court Judge, Grp. 21
Lisa Campbell – 813-857-3732 Linda Courtney Clark

Circuit Court Judge, Grp. 30
Martha Cook

Constance Daniels

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