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IndyBar releases judicial candidate survey results

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A Marion County Superior judge currently suspended pending final disciplinary action was overwhelmingly not recommended by her peers to be re-elected, according to a survey released by the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Committee.

Marion Superior Judge Kimberly J. Brown received just a 10 percent approval rate. Brown has been removed from the bench with pay by the Indiana Supreme Court while she awaits possible discipline for violating numerous rules of judicial conduct.

The survey was emailed Jan. 3 to 4,377 attorneys belonging to the IndyBar and Marion County Bar Association, as well as attorneys with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and Marion County Public Defender’s Office. By Jan. 20, the committee received 1,201 responses to the survey which asked attorneys if they would recommend 24 judicial candidates for office in 2014.

Marion County attorneys have higher confidence in Republican judicial candidates running for the bench for the first time than their Democratic counterparts, according to the survey results.

Republican non-incumbents Rom Byron, Patrick “P.J.” Dietrick and Therese A. Hannah received no less than a 76 percent approval rate. Byron received the lowest overall approval rate of Republican candidates; incumbent Judge Kurt M. Kisgruber received the highest approval rate of Republican candidates at 95.6 percent.
 
Democratic non-incumbents did not fare as well in the survey. Karen Celestino-Horseman, Angela Dow Davis, Jonathan C. Little and Todd A. Woodmansee all received less than a 53-percent approval rate. Non-incumbent Democratic candidate Mark A. Jones received the highest approval rating for either political party at 96.5 percent. Judge James B. Osborn received the highest approval rate for incumbent Democratic judges at 95.5 percent.

The committee hopes the results of the survey help voters assess the strengths of the candidates on the May 6 primary ballots. Candidate pages with more information will be posted later Wednesday at www.indyjudges.org. Complete survey results are also available on that website.  
 

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