With election time almost 10 weeks away, candidates for both County and Circuit court will be working hard this summer to garner as many votes as possible.
On Thursday, Judicial candidates not only got to schmooze with the members of the Coral Springs Parkland Democratic Club but were able to speak about their qualifications.
For three minutes each.
Unlike other offices, Judicial candidates have many limitations on what they can say or do. For instance, judicial elections are nonpartisan, so they cannot disclose whether they are a Democrat, Republican or Independent.
Candidates are not allowed to participate in any political activity. Even though the candidates appeared at a Democratic club meeting, they left the club before business began. The same rule applies when they speak at the Republican club meeting.
Judicial candidates cannot hold an office in a political organization nor can they publicly endorse or oppose another candidate for public office. Also, they cannot make speeches for a political organization or attend political party functions which includes buying tickets for a dinner or other function.
If a candidate for judge fails to follow the strict rules, they can be disciplined through the Florida Bar which can include suspension or loss of their license to practice law.
Despite the strict elections rules, becoming a judge is appealing. A Circuit Judge earns an annual salary of $145,080 and a County Court Judge earns $137,020 (according to 2010 figures).
With it comes a pension, their own judicial assistant, staff and virtually no overhead.
The only problem? Campaigning to retain their seats every six years.
Broward Judicial elections will be held on August 14, 2012
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