The two candidates 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!)
The two candidates in the race:
So here’s the most startling thing about this race: Lena Buggs is actually running. She has an honest-to-God actual campaign website and she has printed up yard signs and she has a Facebook page for her campaign.
I cannot even begin to tell you how weird this is! She really wants this job. She is working really damn hard for this job.
Carrie Wasley is the incumbent. I wrote about her two years ago, using primarily this one interview she did as a source. I’ve found basically nothing more up-to-date about her. She’s still the incumbent and still endorsed by the DFL. (Lena is endorsed by the Greens, who have a statement about her along with their other candidates here.)
Honestly, if I were voting on this one I think I’d vote for Lena just because she wants the job enough to really work for it.
(It looks like I voted on this two years ago, but they’ve now split up the districts such that you only vote for the seat in your actual district, instead of having official districts but voting county-wide.)