I think this is the only contested District Court race in either Hennepin County or Ramsey County. (There is a contested race for the Supreme Court, which I wrote about here.) On the ballot:
I wrote about this during the primaries and would probably not have written about it again, but I got a cranky e-mail from Janice Rettman’s assistant (from a personal e-mail account, so there’s no particular reason to assume Janice sent her my way) wanting to set the record straight on a few things, so here we go.
On the ballot:
There are two people running:
This is a straightforward one. I like John Choi for a number of reasons, but the #1 reason for my respect for him is that he opted to prosecute the police officer who shot Philando Castile. Unsuccessfully: Yanez was acquitted. But you can’t guarantee outcomes as a prosecutor. You file charges, go to trial, and do your best, and he did.
Luke Kyper Bellville ran for judge in Hennepin County in 2016. Here’s what I wrote about him two years ago. He was clearly a flake candidate two years ago. Then he ran for Saint Paul school board last year; he was clearly a flake last year. He remains a flake. Basically the only content on his website are his answers to the questions from an ACLU questionnaire, which he seems to have scanned in; they’re fine. But he tells you nothing about his experience and qualifications, even to the point of reassuring voters that he has a law degree. (He does. I dug that up when he ran for judge two years ago.)
The pictures on his current website seemed so oddly chosen I ran a google image search and found a nearly-identical-in-design unfinished site on the same host. (Content warning: allegedly it’s a “before and after” site for a penis pump. When I visited on 9/30/2018, however, the pictures were the same as the ones on Bellville’s campaign site.)
Anyway: definitely vote for John Choi.
My husband helpfully pointed out that I’d forgotten to write up this race and we’re voting in it.
I’d forgotten to write it up because while there’s a primary, it’s Rafael Ortega vs. two not particularly serious candidates.
On the ballot:
This was one of those races where I knew there had to be some backstory, because there’s an established (long, long, long established) incumbent who appears to be a DFLer, but who is not endorsed by the DFL, and two solid challengers, one with a DFL endorsement. Here’s who’s running:
In races like this, the incumbent will nearly always make it past the primary, so the primary is mostly to determine who they’ll be facing. (Occasionally the incumbent comes in third, but this is nearly always a surprise unless criminal charges are involved. No criminal charges are involved here.)
Oh good, an easy one.
Here’s who’s running:
I see no particular reason to get rid of Ostby. Mahoney’s web page is his attorney web site, with nothing explaining his interest in or qualifications for a judgeship. Calandra Revering apparently had her license to practice law suspended at some point. (You can read a little bit more about her here.)
Anyway, I’m going to vote for Ostby.
There are three people running:
There’s basically one question in this race, or maybe two.
- Does a DUI — and also pulling the “I’m a judge, officer, maybe just let me walk home?” card — disqualify someone from serving as a judge?
- Even if you otherwise really like them?
(Editing to add: turns out there are some additional questions!)