OCBA co-sponsors virtual judicial candidate forums

Oakland County voters will soon have the opportunity to hear directly from judicial candidates in all upcoming elections for Oakland County judgeships. A series of virtual judicial candidate forums will provide voters with the chance to hear the candidates speak about pertinent issues before the ballots are cast.

The Oakland County Bar Association, the League of Women Voters-Oakland Area, and The Detroit Free Press partnership formed more than a decade ago with the intention to help voters become more knowledgeable and informed about Oakland County judicial elections. Usually these forums are live, but since government regulations prohibit large public gatherings, this year's forums are virtual. The taped sessions as well as other candidate information are available for online viewing on the Oakland County Bar Association and League of Women Voters websites.

This year there are three primary elections for seats in Oakland County courts. The candidates for the open seat in the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court are Clarence Dass, Nadine R. Hatten (write-in candidate), Mara Battersby Murphy, and Lorie Savin.

In the 43rd District Court, the candidates are Kelly Collins, Michael G. Mitchell, Jim Osak, Rudy Serra, and Dennis G. Whittie. Brian Christian Hartwell, current judge of district court, also is running.

The candidates for the open seat in the 45th District Court are Darren Grow, Richard Halprin, Jaimie Powell Horowitz, Diana L. McClain, Gil Whitney McRipley,FORUMS and Brenda Richard. The primary election takes place on August 4. The top two voter-getters in the primary elections will be included on the November 3 general election ballot.

The general election ballot also will include a fourth judicial race for a seat on the 47th District Court bench. Incumbent Judge James Brady will take on attorney Matt Savich.

The forum for the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court took place on June 30.

The 43rd District Court forum took place on July 7.

The 45th District Court forum takes place on July 14.

The 47th District Court forum takes place September 23.

The video for Sixth Circuit Court is already available. Videos of each event will be posted shortly after each forum.

Each forum consists of two panelists – one from the Oakland County Bar Association and one from The Detroit Free Press – who ask questions of each of the candidates. A representative of the League of Women Voters moderates the forums.

The taped forums are now available on the OCBA website at https://www.ocba.org/judicial-candidate-forum and on the League of Women Voters website at http://www.lwvoa.org/forums.html.

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