Courthouse’s Celebrity Judge Files For Re-Election





County Judge John “Jay” Hurley quietly filed for re-election on Friday.

As Broward’s celebrity judge, it was a decidedly low-key start to his campaign.

The real blow out comes Friday, April 17 at a beachfront kickoff fundraiser at the Ritz Carlton, Fort Lauderdale.

Hurley should have an easy time with his re-election.


Thousands Watch Judge Hurley Daily 


His name ID is almost certainly higher than other judges. Thousands watch him daily handing out justice on the Internet or on TV. The broadcasts are of Hurley setting the bonds for those arrested.

Hurley’s fame should keep a serious opponent away.

(I wrote about Hurley’s broadcasts in the current issue of Venice magazine linked here.)

Hurley is perceived to be so politically formidable that there is not even courthouse chatter about anyone running against him.

That could change tomorrow, hence the fund raising kickoff.

Yes, Hurley has some critics.

Blogger Tom Lauder  slammed Hurley for promoting his fundraiser before he officially filed his re-election papers.

My take: It was his over eager supporters who jumped the gun on the fundraiser, not Hurley.

Public Defender Howard Finkelstein has sniped at Hurley for allegedly violating the rights of the homeless.

The political reality is that the homeless are not sympathetic figures to most voters.

Viewers know Jay Hurley.

They see him handling accused criminals with dollops of sternness and humor. They see him setting high bonds on yobs they want off the streets.

Compared with most incumbent judges who are largely unknown,  Hurley looks unbeatable.

What serious candidate would take on the courthouse’s reality star?



21 Responses to “Courthouse’s Celebrity Judge Files For Re-Election”

  1. Alice McGill says:

    I hope Hurley get reelected. He can “read” people almost as good as Judge Judy can (no, I am not kidding) and he keeps things moving by not allowing extraneous chit-chat. He does exhibit a sense of humor which is much needed in his stressful job.

  2. Wayne Arnold says:

    Sure winner. Is measured in his speech and demeanor when he sets bonds. Without question he is an outstanding Judge. Doubt he will have any opponent.

  3. The problem says:

    Hurley’s problem is not about over eager fans…

    Any candidate from Soil and Water District to Governor knows that you cant solicit funds and create a website touting your reelection BEFORE you become a candidate.

    Check out the website that was up before Hurley filed yesterday it said paid for an approved by Hurley and his Treasurer Ed McGee. Cant blame that one on over eager fans.

    Also, why is it if you click the Pay Pal button on the website it says you are donating to “Brittany Zanin”? If one gives to person X then person X gives the $$ to a Candidate isn’t that against campaign finance laws if over $1000?

    I wonder if Brittany Zanin who is involved with the Hurley donations is the same Brittany Zanin that is the Communications Director & PAC Coordinator at The Allen West Guardian Fund

    To his credit Hurley isn’t out there getting in trouble behind the wheel like other Judges. He actually does his job well. In the end, Hurley will win and probably no have opposition.


    This is all inside baseball. It was sloppy, no doubt. The question, of course, is whether lawyer Ed McGee jumped the gun and put up the website without Hurley’s knowledge. You have no idea from that blog post you linked.

    It won’t matter in the end. As you noted, Broward voters last year re-elected one judge who had been arrested during her re-election campaign for DUI.

  4. Ha Ha Ha says:

    For those who don’t know, “yob” is British slang for “thug”. And judges are supposed to uphold our Constitutional rights, not violate them!


    Who’s violating them? Hurley? If he is violating the rights of anybody, there are avenues for that. The appeals court would be the first venue. They why we have appeals courts.

    By the way, I sat through Hurley’s bond court….more than once. “Yob” is a perfect description of a good deal of the defendants. They are scary, nasty people accused (the operative word) of doing very scary, nasty crimes.

  5. just beachy says:

    Gotta love Jay Hurley. He is a Teddy Bear character who exudes a certain lovable charm. Overall, one of Broward’s best and one many relate to. Sure bet.

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @4 Buddy “That’s why we have appeals courts”…

    And the average homeless person has not only the legal expertise to know when his or her rights are being violated, but also the big big bucks needed to pursue Judge Hurley through the appellate courts, correct?!?

    Congratulations, Buddy, you’re now officially a member of the hilariously insensitive “Let Them Eat Cake” club!!!

  7. Tony W says:

    I think Judge Hurley is doing a damn good job. Half of the Judges stroll in after 9:15am, do jack shit, and then leave before 4:15pm. Some are working from 8-5 every day. I would suggest that Broward Beat would have a killer expose if you did a request for the time of arrivals/departure to and from Courthouse. Since everything is electronic we can see when the Judges arrive and we they depart.

    Say what you want-Hurley is no drunk and NOT afraid to work a FULL day, and he is open to feedback to improve. I will support him as he has earned his stripes and has made amends with Howard Finklestein.

  8. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    I don’t want to be too pedantic but yob is a blue collar younger male with little education who is employed and “thug” can apply to some of them but not all or a majority. Sports “thugs” are considered a subgroup within yobs but again, not a large number within the yob designation. Yob is more a “class” type applicable only to England because its class controlled educational system. Millionaire developers and financiers who do not come from the right schools but have absolutely no criminal connections are called barrow boys, another subsection within the yob catagory in many contexts. Also Londoners are rarely called yobs. But people from say Liverpool or Manchester working class areas are

  9. Lady Law says:

    I have appeared before many judges. I can assure your readers that Judge Hurley is one of our finest jurists. He took First Appearance, a job none of the judges wanted, and made it his own, treating every defendant fairly and judiciously. He deserves re-election.

  10. Lady Machavelli says:

    It’s sad that we live in a world of “reality television.” A magistrate judge, which is what Hurley does, only sets bond and not on serious cases.
    Sadly, Hurley has never presided over a trial, bench or jury, civil or criminal. Hurley really is nothing more than an underpaid Judge Judy.
    Funny, you say he can’t be beat. That’s what they said about Judge Feren and Judge Ian Richards.

  11. NOT Melissa Donoho says:

    Melissa Donoho is already working the courthouse crowd and Hurley is running scared.


    Melissa Donoho ran against Jay Hurley in 2010. The results — Hurley 67, Donoho 33. What has changed dramatically to turn that around?

  12. Ha Ha Ha says:

    From the Oxford English dictionary:

    yob – noun – A rude, noisy and aggressive youth.

    The Urban Dictionary defines yob as “The antithesis of what a good boy should be: rude, obnoxious, violent and stupid. ”

    Yob is often used in British newspapers to describe the perpetrators of low-level violent crimes.

  13. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The BBC defines “yob culture” here:

    It has become a kind of shorthand for a form of behaviour that everyone recognises instantly. Rowdy groups of young people spill out of a pub, and then rampage through the streets, roughing up each other and anyone else unfortunate enough to cross their drunken path. This is what is often perceived as “yob culture”. The words now have become a rallying cry for politicians in the law and order debate. But who, and what, are we really talking about?

    The usual suspects include lager louts, soccer hooligans, and teenagers who hang out on street corners. In fact any young person who displays a disregard for orderly behaviour, and a disrespect for their elders, is likely to be labelled a yob.

  14. Here we gp again says:

    These pro Hurley posts sound very reminiscent of the ones 5 years ago that were tied back to his Treasurer Ed McGee.

  15. Judicial Rotation required says:

    Regardless of the job a judge does in a division and regardless of whether or not other judges want to do First Appearances, the Florida Supreme Court REQUIRES judicial rotation. Why is Judge Hurley exempt? He has been in this position for 7 years . Weinstein needs to follow the mandate of the Fla Sup Court.


    How about judges who have been in probate, criminal or other divisions forever? If that’s the rules, everybody should rotate.

  16. Sober As a Judge says:

    Judge Hurley has done a fine job as an arraignment judge. Defendants appear before him after being charged and shortly after their arrest. Hurley decides the question of bail. It is a very limited responsibility. This is not to disparage Hurley but he has increasingly shown temperament problems in his current post and we might all benefit from a change in assignment.

  17. Elizabeth Hurley says:

    Seems Judge Jay Hurley has another follower:


    I believe this is a “dirty trick”. I don’t believe any Tea Party endorsed Judge Hurley. Branding someone as the Tea Party candidate has been used in recent years as an attempted smear in heavily-Democratic Broward.

  18. Only on dirty trickster says:

    Google “roger stone” “tea party” “jay hurley” and look at the first two things that come up. The original dirty trickster Roger Stone says the South Florida Tea Party is supporting Judge Hurley. What a shock that a new website does too. Didn’t Stone play the same Tea Party card in Lambeti four years ago?

  19. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Mr ha ha, you don’t live in London part of the year as I do, you sure as heck don’t come from an English family with a Stuart duke at the head of it n I bet the ranch you are not invited to the queen’s garden parties as I am. You have quoted from American owned, edited sources stick to your observations on the low class Broward politicians and developers and don’t try to keep up with your betters. You cant

  20. Epic battle says:

    While I doubt Help Me Howard and Roger Stone could find someone to run against Hurley, to watch these three media stars trade barbs for the next year would be quite entertaining.

  21. Tea Scam says:

    This is a laughable Tea Scam. The South Fla Tea Party is in West Palm Beach and has no interest in a Broward Judicial Election. In fact, the “Tea Party” site listed above has no information on “Hurley” on their search section and they list no club in Broward County. This is a scam by ham-handed haters.