Retirement adds fuel to judicial races — County will get at least two new judges in fall election
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
After 18 years on the bench, Livingston County District Judge A. John Pikkarainen announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in November.
The announcement means at least two open judgeships will be up for grabs this fall, and since judicial seats are among the most contested in Livingston County elections, interested attorneys are expected to line up to take a shot at the bench.
This makes things interesting with the open seat. Susan Reck is retiring. Theresa Brennan is running for election after being appointed by Granholm last year. Circuit Judge Stan Latreille will decide by March 15th. That's the most important judgeship in the county for those concerned about "Judicial activism." District Judges (in Livingston County) have more limited power, but circuit judges have a wide range of power.
The paper lists some of the possible candidates.
Speculation of those interested in the seats include attorneys Carol Sue Reader and Jay Drick, the latter of whom ran for district judge in 2004 but lost in the primary to District Judge L. Suzanne Geddis and Magistrate Brian Brown. Brown said he will not run for election this year.
However, Reader is running for Pikkarainen's seat. Reader, a distant cousin of Circuit Judge David Reader, was Pikkarainen's first law clerk when he took the bench in 1989.
Drick, who has said he is "interested in becoming a judge," did not return phone calls Wednesday.
Assistant Prosecutor William McCririe III said he, too, will run for judge this year, but he declined to say which judgeship he will seek.
"In a few weeks, I will announce which position," said McCririe, who is married to Geddis.
Howell attorney Robert "Bob" Parker has expressed interest in Reck's seat while Hamburg Township attorney Roberta Balon-Vaughn and Juvenile Court Referee Kathleen M. Oemke have both announced their candidacy for Reck's seat.
Genoa Township resident Carol Hackett Garagiola, a former Oakland County prosecuting attorney, has expressed interest in Latreille's seat if the judge decides not to run for re-election.
Howell defense attorney James Buttrey, who applied for Hegarty's seat, said he is not interested in running for election.
We'll post more on the judicial races as developments occur. These will be closely followed until the August and November elections.