Don't forget the judicial candidates

He's already done the math.

The number of mayoral debates has become overwhelming. The sheer mass of candidates makes many of these events meaningless since the participants are given so little time to express their views. Yet they keep getting scheduled, and the City Council races are also getting their share of forums ("Gloves come off in first televised Baltimore mayoral forum," March 22).

Yet as a judicial candidate, I have only been given two sparsely attended forums to explain my philosophy to voters. That is ludicrous considering that judges are much more likely to impact ordinary citizens' lives than most elected officials.

Whether it's the criminal arena, family, juvenile or civil law, people are bound to end up one sooner or later in front of a judge or be impacted by one.

I have openly called for forums (which as a candidate, I can't organize myself), but no one is listening. I have contacted law schools to no avail. I sense a reluctance to push against a status quo that would prefer to have no dialogue at all and instead would have people vote based on a "ticket."

Newspapers and TV stations are no help either. It just isn't sexy enough for them. However, I am not giving up. We've got a few weeks left and I will show up wherever I can to explain my positions. Fact is, we have judicial elections, so let's treat them democratically. Who's willing to stop "sitting" idly by and stand up for an informed electorate?

Todd Oppenheim,

The writer is a Baltimore City public defender and a candidate for Circuit Court judge.

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