It's not too late to watch judge candidate forums

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Ann Marie Ames
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A nice perk of my job is getting paid to attend debates and learn about candidates for local offices. A couple weeks ago, I listened to the six candidates for Rock County judge answer questions at an event hosted by their peers in the Rock County Bar Association.

The following night the Beloit and Janesville leagues of women voters as well as JATV hosted a judicial candidate forum at Hedberg Public Library, 316 S. Main St., Janesville. Video is available online from both events. I really recommend you take the time to watch them. (Details below. Stick with me.)

I try to do my best to re-create such events in news stories. But I've been thinking about how much of the forum gets lost in print. I only have space to reprint the answers to a portion of the questions. And I can't report every joke, every gesture, every misspoken word, every awkward moment or every well placed f-bomb (there were two at the bar association forum.)

This race is an important one. It's not often we get to vote for a new circuit court judge. Often they are appointed to the bench and then get re-elected. A judge could likely hold the seat for decades. They are responsible for the future of many, many individuals who come into the courtroom - criminals, children, families and victims of crime to name a few. In many cases, people get one experience in court, and that experience could change their lives.

What I'm trying to say is this is an important race, and I think you would be glad if you took the time to listen to the candidates rather than just reading about them. As a voter, I found it very helpful to hear them in person. I'll say this as tactfully as I can: A judicial candidate forum is not as boring as it sounds.

At the bar association forum, I saw six people who are smart and passionate about the law. They are good public speakers. Each of them at one point was funny. I learned a few things, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to attend the private event.

Click here for the collection of the Gazette's coverage of this election season.

Here is a wrap of other local media coverage, thanks to a news release from the Janesville League of Women Voters.

The Janesville League of Women Voters has compiled links to local media coverage of the candidates for Rock County Judge as well as some of the candidates’ written responses. Visit lwvjvl.org to find information about:

-- JATV’s rebroadcasting of the league’s judicial forum on Jan. 25.

-- Links to YouTube videos of the same forum. The league’s website features a handy list of the timestamps for the questions asked during the forum. Viewers can choose to watch responses to the questions that interest them the most.

-- Written answers to questions.

-- Links to Local Vision TV’s “Meet the Candidates” series as well as video from the Rock County Bar Association’s Jan. 24 jucidial candidate forum.

Read Ann Marie’s updates from the newsroom on Twitter

Last updated: 10:06 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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