Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Elsa Lamelas will not seek another term on the bench.
The Branch 23 judge said Tuesday she will retire July 31 at the end of her current six-year term, after 18 years on the bench.
“I think of it as turning the page,” said Lamelas, 60. “I’m not exactly sure what I am going to be doing, but this is just the right time for me.”
The pending vacancy is already drawing interest. Milwaukee attorney Hannah Dugan, of the Law Offices of Hannah Dugan LLC, said she plans to run for the seat. And Lindsey Grady, deputy register in probate in Milwaukee County, has decided to switch to running for the Branch 23 seat, after initially announcing her intent to run for Branch 28, said Sachin Chheda, her campaign manager.
Grady formally announced her intent to run for Branch 28 on Oct. 27, after incumbent Judge Thomas Cooper filed noncandidacy papers with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. She decided to switch, Chheda said, to avoid supporter overlap with the other candidate seeking the Branch 28 seat: Mark Sanders, a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney.
“There are lots of folks who wanted to support both,” Chheda said. “The second seat allows that to happen. I wouldn’t say it was because of competition. It’s just sensible.”
Dugan had little to say about Grady’s move.
“It’s her decision,” Dugan said. “I’ve already announced my plans to run for Branch 23.”
Outside of the two open seats, eight other judges in Milwaukee County are up for re-election next spring.
So far, four incumbents — Judge Jeff Wagner (Branch 38), Bonnie Gordon (Branch 46), Dennis Moroney (Branch 20) and William Sosnay (Branch 8 ) — have declared their candidacies.