With 12 sitting judges currently facing challengers, 2010 is shaping up to be a judicial election year like no other in Broward County.
In a county where it was long considered toxic for a lawyer's future to run against an incumbent judge, seven circuit and five county judges, as of now, have challengers.
And there are still five weeks left for more would-be candidates to file to run.
The change of tide, the legal community says, can be attributed to a number of factors: Questionable conduct by some Broward judges that may make judges as a whole seem vulnerable at the polls; a courthouse gossip blog that encourages attorneys to run for judge; and a poor economy making a government salary, benefits and pension more tempting for struggling lawyers.
"The existing judiciary has gotten into all kinds of trouble and scandals, and it's because they've been so insulated from elections," said criminal defense attorney Kevin Kulik, who has been actively encouraging fellow lawyers to run for judge. "They assumed that they were appointed for life."
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A Dozen Judges Face Challengers in Election