Why Vote for Judge


How Does Someone Become a Judge?

 "The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected." 

- William O. Douglas

There are two ways a lawyer becomes a judge. One is through appointment by the Governor and the second is by election.   However, after a judge is appointed by the Governor, they have to be elected to their seat every six years.  It is uncommon for someone to run against an incumbent judge.   An incumbent who does not have a challenger, will not appear on the ballot.  When a judicial seat does become available and is not filled by the Governor, there is generally a race between 2 or more candidates.  Historically, only about 51% of people who vote actually go down the ballot to vote on judicial races.  As we have all witnessed from these past few years, it matters who is on the bench.  I intend to make it a cornerstone of my campaign to educate voters on the importance of voting for this office.

Why Does It Matter?

Most people don’t come into contact with the legal system in their daily lives.  However, when you do enter the justice system, it is because there are significant life issues at stake, such as, your marriage, children, housing, a contract, a fine or even incarceration.  It matters who is sitting on the bench in front of you.  

According to the California Justice Gap Study (2019), in the past year, approximately 55% of California households had a civil legal issue to deal with and only 30% of those households received legal assistance.  Approximately 55% of the people who come to court for a petition to dissolve a marriage are self-represented.  That number is estimated to be 90% when it comes to domestic violence restraining orders and unlawful detainers.  Even in criminal cases where a public defender can be appointed, the number of people who don’t financially qualify for public defender services yet can’t afford private counsel is rising every year.   For many cases in the courts, it is the parties alone and the judge.  The judge’s personal and professional experience and temperament especially matter in these situations.

Whether it is a criminal matter, landlord/tenant dispute, family law matter or a contract dispute, having a court system that reflects the community it serves promotes empowerment and a sense that justice is for all members of the community.


On November 3, 2020 Vote for Elena Condes
for Superior Court Judge, Seat 2