Miguel Does The Right Thing.

I’ve always said he’s a mensch, but Miguel de la O (pictured above) did the right thing last night in a note about suspending his campaign:

Dear friends and supporters:

I am disappointed to inform you that I am suspending my campaign for Circuit Court Judge in Group 21. As many of you already know, the replacement judge for Group 21 will no longer be selected by election, but rather by gubernatorial appointment. The explanation for this change is both simple and complicated. If you are interested in the intricate details, I set them out below. The simple explanation is that the incumbent judge in Group 21, who was scheduled to retire in January 2011, unexpectedly resigned last week.

I am grateful for the wise counsel many of you have provided me during the last five days. Based on that counsel, and my own thoughts and principles, I have made several decisions. First, all campaign contributions will be returned in full. I am going to personally absorb all campaign expenses that I have incurred.

Second, I will not run for election in any of the existing races for open seats to the Circuit Court. Those races already have qualified attorneys who have been actively campaigning (in some cases, for even longer than I have).

Third, I will not challenge any incumbent judges who are up for re-election. Although I have been encouraged to run against various incumbents, I believe lawyers should have good reasons to run against an incumbent. The mere fact I might win is not a good enough reason. Good incumbent judges deserve our support. I would be betraying my principles to challenge a sitting judge simply because of the likelihood of success on election night.

Fourth, I intend to apply to the Judicial Nominating Commission for appointment to the seat for which I was running, and hope my qualifications and proven commitment will weigh favorably in the minds of the JNC and – if nominated – the Governor.

I have been campaigning for over 14 months. During that time, I have benefited immensely from the opportunity to learn what members of our community, lawyers and non-lawyers, expect from judges who daily have the privilege and burden to make decisions that affect the lives of many, many people. Although disappointed that I will not stand for election this year, the support I have received over the past year has been humbling and energizing. I am as committed as ever to serving my community. I am also deeply grateful for all of the support you have shown me. I hope I continue to earn it, and that despite my decision not to run this election, I can count on you when I decide to run again.

I am especially grateful for the support of my family and my firm. Rosa and our children have borne the burden of my absence due to endless campaign events – as has the firm of de la O, Marko, Magolnick & Leyton. These contributions cannot be returned in full, I can only repay their support with love and appreciation.


Rump’s coverage of this year’s judicial election mess is here.