Spending to Retain Florida Judges Could Reach $5.5 Million

The campaign to defend three targeted Florida Supreme Court justices has expanded dramatically and is expected to spend $5.5 million, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Voters will decide Tuesday in a retention (yes-or-no) election whether to keep or unseat the judges.

The justices’ campaigns have raised about $1.5 million, and money from the state’s legal community and other backers of the justices totals $4 million, the article said. Meanwhile Americans for Prosperity spent about $155,000 in targeting the justices, and a grassroots group, Restore Justice 2012, has taken in less than $70,000.

“When the Republican Party of Florida launched its ‘grass roots’ offensive against the three justices of the Florida Supreme Court, it unleashed a sleeping giant,” the article said. To learn more about the anti-retention campaign, based on rulings in a few controversial cases, see Gavel Grab.

Meanwhile former state legislator Barry Richard told The Florida Current that he’s putting together a proposal to remove judges from politics completely.

In the closing days of other high-profile judicial election races, these headlines appeared:

News & Observer, “PPP poll shows leads for Ervin, Forest, McCrory.” Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV was shown with a 39-35 percent lead over incumbent North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby.

Associated Press, “[Oregon] Supreme Court race takes an edgier tone.”

Detroit News, “No clear leader in [Michigan] High Court race despite spending.”

Alabama’s13.com, “Parties spar over donations in Ala. Supreme Court Justice race.”

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