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Walworth County judge won't seek re-election

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
October 20, 2009
— Walworth County Judge Michael Gibbs will not seek re-election when his term expires in 2010, and attorneys are lining up for his bench seat.

Gibbs, the county's presiding judge, has not filed an official notice of his intentions, but the judge has said he won't be seeking another term. He will complete his third six-year term next year.


Gibbs did not return several calls from the Gazette seeking comment.


Two attorneys—Mark Bromley and David Reddy—said they intend to seek Gibbs' seat.


Bromley, of La Grange Township, is a county board supervisor representing the towns of La Grange, Sugar Creek and Whitewater and the city of Whitewater. He has filed a campaign registration statement, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.


The Gazette was not able to reach Bromley for a comment Monday.


Reddy has been Walworth County family court commissioner for four years. He is has not filed papers but said he will meet with the person likely to be his campaign treasurer and should have papers filed by Friday.


"I have had a career ambition of being a judge," he said.


Reddy began his law career in 1987 at the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office. In 1992, he went into private practice and worked mostly on civil cases.


"I believe that's one of the things that set me apart from some of the other people who I understand are interested in running," Reddy said. "I've got a broad background in civil and criminal law and now the family law and the probate area law."


District Attorney Phil Koss last week said he was considering running for Gibbs' seat but Monday said he would not run next year.


"I have been asked by many police officers, social workers, staff and victims to remain as the district attorney," Koss said in a statement Monday. "I have just begun a four-year term, and I do not think I should leave so early."


Koss said he would consider running in 2012 if Judge Robert Kennedy decides to not seek re-election.


Kennedy on Monday declined to comment on whether he has decided to run for re-election.


Judge James Carlson has not made a formal announcement but has plans to seek re-election next year, his clerk said Monday.


Judge John Race was re-elected last spring for another 6-year term.


Three other Walworth County attorneys are considering running for Gibbs' seat but said they haven't made decisions.


Elkhorn-based attorney Melissa Frost said she is "seriously considering" joining the race.


"It looks very much so like I will be," said Frost, who has practiced law for 10 years, five of those predominantly in Walworth County.


Frost said she likely would decide by next week.


Geneva Township Municipal Judge Scott Letteney said he is considering running for Gibbs' seat.


"I have no question that I am completely capable of doing an excellent job," Letteney said.


He has practiced law in Walworth County since 1995 and has been a municipal judge for the last 10.


Lake Geneva-based attorney James Martin said he is leaning toward not running but hasn't ruled out anything.


"I've bounced back and forth, and I'm still evaluating all my options," Martin said.


He started as a Walworth County assistant district attorney in 1992 and has practiced privately since 1995.


Candidates must submit a campaign registration statement by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5. To appear on the ballot, candidates need to collect 200 to 400 signatures and submit a statement of economic interests.



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