Primary to reduce judge field to two in Walworth County
Four attorneys are vying for the bench seat to be vacated next year in Walworth County Circuit Court.
The race in Branch 4 is wide open after Judge Michael Gibbs said he would not seek re-election when his third six-year term expires in 2010.
Walworth County’s Branch 2 is also up for election. Judge James Carlson is running unopposed.
Candidates in the Branch 4 race are Mark Bromley of Whitewater, David Danz of Williams Bay, Scott Letteney of Geneva Township and David Reddy of Delavan.
Bromley is a county board supervisor representing La Grange, Sugar Creek and Whitewater townships and the city of Whitewater. Bromley, who has specialized in bankruptcy law for more than 20 years, said it is important to elect a judge with experience in commercial law. The other candidates lack that experience, he said.
“I have practiced on all areas of law,” Bromley added. “Everything the courts do, I have done.
“I bring extensive experience in the roles of government and financial challenges that local governments face. And I bring a vision for how the circuit courts can contribute to the welfare of citizens by more efficient and effective operation.”
Danz is a former Walworth County district attorney with 30 years of legal practice in the county. He has practiced law at the municipal, county and state levels and currently works as a private attorney.
“I have a long and strong commitment to conservative policies and principles,” Danz wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette. “I believe that the primary duty of the circuit court is to protect the public and fairly administer justice to everyone.”
Danz said the circuit court must do a better job of apprehending and retaining trial defendants who have skipped on their bonds. He added that repeat drunken driving offenders should be assessed for community safety and risk before being released on bond and that they should pay the expenses of electronic monitoring and intensive supervision when they are released on those conditions.
Letteney has been the town of Geneva municipal judge for about 11 years. He has practiced law in Walworth County since 1995, and he currently works as the deputy city attorney and senior manager of human resources for the city of Racine.
“I want to do the best job I can do as a judge in whatever branch of court that I’m assigned for,” Letteney said.
The candidate said his campaign has focused on personal relationships from a grass-roots perspective. He has walked through neighborhoods to reach voters, he said.
“I spent my career in public service,” Letteney added. “I don’t have the personal wealth my opponents have, so I can’t spend as much as they can.”
Reddy has been the Walworth County family court commissioner for four years. He began his law career in 1987 at the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office. In 1992, Reddy went into private practice and worked mostly on civil cases.
“I want to make a difference as a judge,” he said.
Reddy said he has run the county’s family court more smoothly than in previous years, almost doubling the court’s efficiency.
What sets him apart is his broad background in civil and criminal law, alongside his current experience in family and probate law.
Address: W5838 Greening Road, Whitewater
Job: Private practice attorney
Education: Bachelor’s and law degrees from UW-Madison
Elected posts: Served on La Grange Town Board for four years and Walworth County Board for two years.
Address: 377 Frost Dr., Williams Bay
Job: Private practice attorney
Education: Bachelor’s degree from UW-Stevens Point; master’s degree with specialty in criminal justice administration from UW-Madison’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, formerly known as the Center for Public Policy and Administration; law degree from the University of San Diego.
Elected posts: Former Walworth County district attorney
Address: N3299 Sycamore Road, Geneva Township
Job: Deputy city attorney and senior manager of human resources for the city of Racine
Education: Bachelor's degree form UW-Milwaukee and law degree from Marquette University. Candidate for master’s of public administration from UW-Milwaukee with expected graduation in fall 2010.
Elected posts: Currently Geneva Township municipal judge
Address: 215 N. 3rd St., Delavan
Job: Walworth County family court commissioner
Education: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Elected posts: Currently Walworth County family court commissioner