Unusual judicial race sees long list of candidatesThis race may need its own ballot.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
This race may need its own ballot.
An unusual judicial opening in Washington County prompted 25 – yes, 25 – candidates to submit petitions for a spot on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The candidates include private-practice attorneys, law school officials, prosecutors and former lawmakers.
Nearly all of the filings came Thursday. That was the deadline for a one-week petition filing period that was required by law because the regular candidate filing period closed earlier this month with a vacancy for the seat, based in Washington County District Court.
That vacancy was created when Judge Thomas Armstrong and his law clerk, Dawn Hennessy, each filed to run but later withdrew their names.
The timing of those filings and of Armstrong's withdrawal, which came before Hennessy's, raised questions about their motives, but then Hennessy pulled her name. A deadline passed with no candidates filed.
Election officials said state law identified that as a vacancy, and a second filing period was called. The law required candidates to submit petitions, along with at least 500 signatures from eligible voters in the eight-county judicial district.
Election officials have 10 days to verify the petitions before candidates are guaranteed a spot on the general election ballot.
There will be no primary election, so should all petitions be verified, voters will choose from 25 candidates in November. Like in other races, write-in candidates also are possible.
Among those who submitted petitions was Hennessy, who had withdrawn during the initial filing period.
State election officials say they do not recall another district court judicial race that triggered a petition drive because of a vacancy caused by candidates withdrawing after the regular filing period.
Petitions were submitted by:
– Peter Marker
– Laurette S. Arnold
– Kelley Malone O'Neill
– Jennifer Santoro Bovitz
– Richard Stebbins
– Sheridan Keith Hawley
– Helen R. Brosnahan
– Catherine (Kate) McPherson
– John E. Hennen
– David L. Hanson
– Wm. Christopher Penwell
– Bridgid E. Dowdal
– F. Joseph Taylor
– Mimi Hasselbalch
– Brian LeClair
– Catherine Ann McEnroe
– Dawn R. Hennessy
– Portia Hampton-Flowers
– Patricia (Zenner) Burchill
– Robert "Bob" Steigauf
– Lindy T. Yokanovich
– Mary E. Smits
– Tad Jude
– Wayde Brooks
– Yamy Vang
Check back for more information on the candidates.