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The Bar Bulletin
Jax Daily Record Monday, Dec. 4, 201707:00 AM EST

From the President: It’s judicial election time again; here’s some campaign advice

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Candidates can’t say much about how they will address their roles, other than to say that they will be diligent and fair.

By Ted DeLegal

JBA President

The judicial candidates are ramping up their campaigns for next year.

Running for judicial office has always been difficult.

Candidates can’t say much about how they will address their roles, other than to say that they will be diligent and fair.

Candidates can’t raise money directly, but have to work through fundraising committees.

The restrictions on judicial candidates are in place to protect the process, and they are likely necessary to preserve an independent judiciary, but they still make the campaigning process tough.

We at The Jacksonville Bar Association can’t provide support to any candidate, but we can give a little guidance to the candidates who are seeking office in 2018.

I have therefore put together a list of slogans that probably shouldn’t be used in a campaign:

  • Often coherent 
  • Judge Judy-esqe
  • Judgment, schmudgment 
  • A black robe covers a checkered past
  • On the bench … off the streets
  • That’s what appeals are for
  • Put him where we can watch him
  • Rehab was a complete success — every time
  • The relentless pursuit of adequacy

Of course, we live in strange political times, and certain folks have been elected (or have refused to withdraw from candidacy) who would have been clearly unelectable anytime else in American history.

Perhaps the aforementioned slogans wouldn’t hinder a campaign in today’s reality-optional world, but I still think that a candidate should probably steer clear.

In all sincerity, the 4th Judicial Circuit has a long tradition of having an excellent judiciary.

Whether our judges got there by election or by appointment, we’ve been lucky to have a good bench, and the folks who have announced their candidacy so far would certainly continue that tradition.

Stay tuned to The Jacksonville Bar for opportunities to meet the candidates in the months to come.

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