BY BUDDY NEVINS
Next year’s judicial races are slowly getting underway.
Julie Shapiro-Harris, who lost a close one last year, opened her campaign account for 2014 last week. She is running for Circuit Court Group 17, now occupied by the retiring Circuit Judge Jeffrey Steitfeld.
Harris was beaten by Michael Rothschild by 2,930 votes.
Julie Shapiro-Harris: Running again after loss
She spent $115,076 of her own on her losing campaign, supplemented by less than than $7,000 she raised from donors.
Rothschild had less to spend – roughly $74,000. Most of his money – $66,487 – was from contributors. He is now a criminal court judge.
Harris is the wife of Democratic political activist and campaign consultant Barry Harris.
Streitfeld pending retirement is just one of several seats that ambitious lawyers are expected to target next year.
Longtime Circuit Judge Mel Grossman is planning to retire, leaving his seat up for grabs.
Sunrise attorney Russell M. Thompson began running late last month to replace Grossman. He opened a campaign bank account with $150,000 of his own money.
Any judges appointed recently by Gov. Rick Scott can expect opposition, too.
The judge in this category with a large bull’s-eye on his back is Raag Singhal.
It is unfortunate, but political consultants believe a judge with a distinctly foreign-sounding name like Singhal make an easier opponent than many others. Doubly unfortunate since I hear Singhal is a good judge.
This is just the beginning. Stay tuned.
Judge Raag Singhal (wearing tie) with Public Defender Howard “Help Me Howard” Finkelstein.
Picture courtesy of Jaablog