The Milwaukee Bar Association on Thursday released its 2011 member survey on the qualifications of judicial candidates running for the Milwaukee County Circuit Court and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Members were asked to designate each candidate as “qualified” or “not qualified,” and those unfamiliar with a candidate’s qualifications have the option of indicating “no opinion.” The poll is restricted to MBA members.
Of the four candidates running for Supreme Court, incumbent Supreme Court Justice David T. Prosser received 296 “qualified” endorsements with State Public Defender Appellate Division Director Marla J. Stephens in second place with 145.
In the lone contested race in Milwaukee County, 168 members listed incumbent Judge Pedro Colon as “qualified,” tops among the three candidates.
Colon also led the Branch 18 race with 119 members listing him as “not qualified.”
Although he is running unopposed, Branch 47 incumbent Judge John Siefert, who successfully fought to allow judges to openly affiliate themselves with political parties, received 196 “not qualified” votes, compared to 120 “qualified.”
Along with the ballot are suggested criteria including integrity, knowledge of the law and punctuality, by which to assess the qualifications of each candidate.
Ballots were mailed to the MBA’s 2,220 members; 449 were returned by last Friday’s deadline.
The spring primary is Tuesday and the general election is April 5.