Oakland County Circuit Court's Best Kept Secret
April 22, 2014, is the filing deadline for an open seat on the Oakland County Circuit Court. To date, while no one has filed the requisite 5000 signatures to become an official candidate, it is well-known that Lisa Langton, a deputy court administrator and wife of news personality Charlie Langton, is expected to make her candidacy official prior to the filing deadline in late April. So far, however, she stands alone.
We here at the Law Blogger, finding the lack of interest and the dearth of candidates unusual, decided to check with some of our connected peeps. No one knows for sure, but the consensus is that some wanna-be judges are lurking out there in the weeds, waiting for the deadline to come closer before announcing their candidacies via well-timed press conferences. We shall see.
Otherwise, Ms. Langton stands to waltz into a seat that normally costs the successful candidate nearly a quarter million dolllars and a pound of flesh. To become a judge in this town, a lawyer must survive an absolute cage-match primary campaign featuring a dozen of the usual suspects [assistant prosecutors, well-funded big law attorneys, politically backed lawyers], and then be the last one standing following a bruising general election.
According to a recent article in the Oakland Press following Ms. Langton's press release announcing her candidacy, she has endorsements from Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and from the retired judge whose seat was temporarily mothballed after his retirement in 2010, Jack McDonald. This blogger has also heard that Langton hired old-school strategist Al Holtz; when you hire Al, you're dead serious.
This open seat on the Oakland Circuit bench is designated as a non-incumbent position and is for an 8-year term in the family court division. The November 2012 judicial election taught us that once elected, an Oakland County judgeship is akin to a lifetime federal appointment; bullet-proof.
We here at the Law Blogger will monitor the Oakland County Clerk's unofficial candidate list as the deadline approaches. Let's see who among us lawyers are of a judicial mindset.