Tea Party Favorite Seeking Judicial Appointment


Will the Tea Party take the bench?

Less than seven months after narrowly losing a bid to be Broward’s Republican leader, former Davie Mayor Tom Truex wants to be a judge.

Tom Truex

To conservatives, Truex is spelled TrueR.  Truex was one of the most conservative office holders in recent Broward history. He was a very public religious and fiscal conservative in Democratic Broward years before others knew how to brew tea.

He was part of a failed Tea Party effort to take over the local GOP in April 2010. In the December election for chairman, Truex lost by four votes as a conservative with Tea Party allies.

Now the former mayor is one of 17 seeking the seat of former Chief Judge Vic Tobin, who is quitting June 30 to join a foreclosure law firm.

Other applicants include:

  • Robert Nichols, Mark Rickard and Debra Steinsaltz, former judicial candidates.
  • Ari Porth, a Democratic state House member from Coral Springs.
  • Raag Singhal, a well-known criminal defense ace.
  • Randi Boven and Phoebee Francois, general magistrates.
  • Lorena Mastrarrigo and Steinsaltz, who work for the public defender’s office.
  • Maria Schneider, a prosecutor.

Nichols came close to beating Circuit Judge Carlos Rebollo in the 2010 election.  Steinsaltz lost in 2010 to County Judge Peter Skolnik and has opened a campaign account to run again next year.

In March 2009, Truex lost his re-election as Davie mayor to Judy Paul because of his support for the Commons office and shopping complex.

Judicial appointments are a two-step process.

The hopefuls must first get the recommendation of the Judicial Nominating Commission. A list of recommendations are then sent to the governor, who picks a judge.

Truex is plugged in politically to Gov. Rick Scott’s conservative wing of the GOP.  However, the Broward JNC is filled with more moderate Republicans who may not recommend him.

A solo-practitioner,  Truex specializes in bankruptcy and civic litigation. He is a 1981 University of Florida Law School graduate.

Others applying are:

  • Jorge E. Hurtado
  • Steven W. Hyatt
  • Kenneth P. Kugler
  • Christopher William Pole
  • Michele McCaul Ricca
  • Abbe S. Rifkin
  • Gerald S. Williams

14 Responses to “Tea Party Favorite Seeking Judicial Appointment”

  1. TamaracTalk says:

    My vote is for Ari Porth…..who would have made a great Broward County Commissioner.

  2. Correction says:

    Steinstaltz lost to Judge Peter Skolnik. Debra better hope Ron Book does not get wind of this, he is quite friendly with the Gov.

  3. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Attention to Ast Stat. Att Maria Schneider be careful Sheila Alu doesn’t see you talking to any Judge or other collegue , who knows what she’ll say or more like it what she will say to the FBI. Can you see it now Hi so-in so its Sheila I got some goods on someone seeking a judgeship(Schneider) I saw her buying a pair of fish net panty hose (see what I mean). Pathetic. God luck Att.Schneider.

  4. knowledge says:

    what a dissappointment Robello is,most people went to the wall for the guy and he won took off and left like all the judges do,to those judges who won 2 years ago i will here from u 4 years from now,to those who won 4 years ago i will here from u soon,to those who r seeking appointment u will call to write letters,make phone calls and then we wont here from u

  5. Jerry says:

    Well Scott has not made a good decision yet since put in office so I assume he would put this wingnut in as well.

  6. Huh? says:

    Where do you get your info Buddy? Truex is all of a sudden tea party? He was an elected official for years before any tea party claim to fame. He’s just looking for another chance to feed off the public trough. Sure he had his backers in the local GOP, but I’d hardly consider them “tea party” – they were just his acolytes from the SW part of the county. If you came to regular local GOP meetings you would know. In fact many “tea party” leaders backed his opponents. Remember he is the same pol who was backed by the carpenters union in his failed 2009 reelection for Davie mayor. He’s applied before to be a judge bye the way. Certainly not “tea party” by any means – more like a guy chasing another gov’t job.

    I got my information from Tony Man, political reporter for the Sun-Sentinel.

    Under the headline “Tea Party Fails To Capture Republican Leadership” on April 27, 2010, Man wrote: “Tom Truex , a former Davie mayor who ran on the conservative- tea party slate…”

  7. Huh? says:

    I see – another reporter “looking for a story angle.”. Ok just wondering. His opponents in the December local GOP election could easily make the same claim to being “conservative with Tea Party allies” as you wrote for Truex.

  8. Buddy says:

    Sam Fields pointed out that there were only 17 applicants for this judicial seat, which is a big change from a year ago when dozens of lawyers applied for every open seat.

    Maybe the economy is getting better for law firms, Sam. Of maybe with the assault on the judiciary and public employees in general taking place in Tallahassee, being a judge is no longer as desirable.

  9. Dear Buddy says:

    You missed the biggest reason the applicant number is down. Only a crazy person would want to run in Broward County as their opponent points out every night “XYZ was appointed by Rick Scott”. Every Judge appointed by Rick Scott will be considered an open seat.

  10. Saturday Jones says:

    Once again leave it to the establishment (we are all Family) of Broward to paint this guy Truex as something he is not.

    All in it together at some point. Democrats and Republicans play in the same sand lot, tot lot, functions, parties, charitable events, etc.

    If you are in, you are in. If you are out, you are out.

    As for the Sun Sentinel’s Tony Man sitting at Republican events and attaching labels on what he pretends to observe. How nice! And the Republicans sit there like a bunch of boobs and let him define who they are.

    Let’s not forget Javier Manjarres while we are at it with his Shark foolishness. What an enterprising young man. If you place ads in his blog he does attack pieces on your opponents. How precious. Some Colombian half-wit getting over on everyone with his Broward College Degree in Political Science.

    Are you kidding me?

  11. good boy get a treat says:

    Oh Saturday, could that be Tom L aka Red Broward? Establishment, hmm big word today, I thought you referred to it as The Machine. Still jealous of Javier I see. It’s ok I am sure people will buy ads on your site to hear the ramblings of Robert Sutton. Ok you were a good boy today so run along Ric Suave has a scooby snack for you.

  12. Red Broward says:

    Zoinks Good Boy,wrong guess. RED does not disparage Broward REC members in comment sections or Twitter. Now, off to the big Gerardo concert for Carlos Gimenez.

  13. Broward Politico says:

    Gerardo is touring?

  14. noseyparker says:

    As the former mayor of Davie, Truex wanted to be able to discriminate in awarding the town’s contracts, based on his personal religious beliefs. He makes Genghis Kahn look like a bleeding heart liberal.