But when a vacancy appears on the bench, there tends to be a fight for the seat. That's what's shaping up for 2010, when at least two candidates will run to replace retiring Judge Stephen Simanek.
Local Attorney Georgia Herrera announced this week she's running for the seat, which comes with a six-year term. Attorney Gene Gasiorkiewicz had earlier announced he's also running for the seat.
Herrera was one of five candidates to replace Judge Emmanuel Vuvunas in 2004. She won the primary, but lost in the general election to Judge John Jude.
Here's Herrera's full release:
Georgia Herrera Declares Candidacy for Racine County Circuit Court
Attorney Georgia Herrera announces that she is a candidate for Circuit Court Branch 2, that will become vacant in 2010, upon the retirement of Judge Stephen Simanek. Herrera is a native of Racine, born here in 1960, a 1978 graduate of Washington Park High School. Herrera graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1985.
Georgia Herrera has a long history of service to the community and will campaign vigorously in an effort to maintain her commitment to public service. Herrera has practiced law for 24 years, spending the last 10 years serving her community as a judicially appointed Racine County Circuit Court Commissioner. Herrera prosecuted felony, misdemeanor and all other criminal law violations as an Assistant Racine County District Attorney for 11 years. Herrera served in high volume criminal and family law courts and has proven that she is a dedicated public servant practicing in all areas of the law.
Georgia Herrera has also been very active in the community, recently serving as President of the Racine County Heritage Museum Board for a number of years. Herrera currently serves as Vice-President of Next Generation Now. Herrera was also just nominated to the National Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Herrera previously served for a decade on both the Neighborhood Watch Board and the Taylor Home Board. She won the Racine County Bar Association Award for Community Volunteer in 2000.
Attorney Georgia Herrera previously ran for Judge in 2004, earning the greatest number of votes in the February primary narrowly losing in the general election. When asked what might be different in this election, Herrera responded, "I have almost 6 additional years experience court commissioning, making decisions judges would make, and representing clients in all courts in Racine County. This experience will serve me well."
Herrera, is married to local attorney Jeff Leavell; and has two children, Jennings age 14 and Theo 11.
The treasurer for Ms. Herrera’s campaign is James Eastman.