Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Bar association backs both in judge race

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Bar Association has endorsed both candidates in the only contested judicial race in Hamilton County.

“Fred Nelson and Bruce B. Whitman bring into this race significantly varied backgrounds. ... While their backgrounds differ, both candidates possess skills and attributes that will allow them to serve the public well as a Hamilton County Common Pleas court judge.

“Both candidates received high marks from attorneys for character and integrity,” the endorsement stated.

Released Tuesday by the CBA, the endorsements were accompanied by the organization's 2002 Judicial Poll results, which are a ranking of all the judges and candidates on the November ballot.

Mr. Nelson, the Republican-endorsed candidate, and Mr. Whitman, the Democratic-endorsed candidate, are vying for a seat being vacated by retiring Common Pleas Judge Fred Cartolano.

The other judicial races are all unopposed contests.

“Our policy allows us to endorse none, one or both of the candidates,” said Jeffrey Peck, who chairs the committee that used the information gleaned from candidate interviews and from votes of 3,700 Greater Cincinnati attorneys top make their endorsements.

“It's really a process of trying to provide information to voters as a public service as to whether or not the Bar Association gives its approval to a candidate,” he said.

Among those ranked for overall integrity, legal experience, respect and diligence:

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Kim W. Burke received an overall excellent rating of 64.53 percent.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge David P. Davis received an overall excellent ranking of 56.23 percent.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge John Andrew West received the highest overall excellent ranking of 68.89 percent.

Hamilton County Presiding Juvenile Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon received an overall excellent ranking of 56.70 percent.



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