As we get inundated with Nnational news on a daily basis, it is easy to overlook local matters that affect us all. One of those local issues of great value and importance is judicial races. It’s often the election where people vote with the least amount of information, but it’s a decision that has a major effect on your daily life.
A judge decides whether to dismiss your traffic ticket. A judge decides if someone is going to stay in or out of custody. A judge decides whether your child can be taken from you. After a divorce, a judge decides on the apportionment of the marriage assets. These are decisions that have a real and personal impact on you and your daily life.
That is why it’s important for voters to research the people who are running to be judges and what their names and ballot designations are.
Case in point is the race in Los Angeles Superior County Superior Court Seat 76 in the March 3 election. On the ballot, the voters will see Emily Cole, deputy district attorney, county of Los Angeles. They will also see Judge Mike Cummins, retired counselor-at-law.
Emily Cole is a Los Angeles local. She is a child and adult sex crimes prosecutor. She has worked for years in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando courthouses, dealing with numerous Santa Clarita cases. Ms. Cole is endorsed by both political parties, police associations, labor unions, the defense bar, the DA’s office, as well as The Signal. She has worked in Los Angeles courthouses and has the experience and knowledge to be a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. The Los Angeles County Bar Association rated her as “qualified” to be a judge, while they rated Mr. Cummins “not qualified” to be a judge.
Looking at her opponent, just based on the plain reading of the name “Judge Mike Cummins,” a voter may assume that this candidate is an incumbent judge. That assumption is wrong.
Mr. Cummins is a retired lawyer who lives and worked in San Luis Obispo. In 2017, Mr. Cummins (born Michael Richard Cummins) legally changed his name to Judge Mike Cummins. On his name change document, he stated he was changing his name for “business and career opportunities.”
Mr. Cummins is not campaigning in Los Angeles County. He is not seeking any endorsements or trying to get to know the people of Los Angeles County. He is running on his misleading new name hoping the voters will just check the box on his name.
A judge should follow the law, not seek to get around it for personal gain. That is what Mr. Cummins is doing.
Look at all the facts and vote for the candidate who is right for Los Angeles County. “Judge” for yourself.