Candidate for Superior Court Judge Matt Brower. Photo by Alexander Nguyen

In the only San Diego Superior Court judicial race, Deputy District Attorney Matt Brower has a sizable lead over the incumbent, Judge Gary Kreep.

With approximately 68 percent of precincts reporting, Brower has nearly 59 percent of the vote compared to 41 percent for Kreep in the race for judicial Seat No. 37.

In this year’s June primary election, Kreep faced four attorneys seeking to unseat him. The number of Kreep challengers followed a “severe public censure” of the judge last year by the Commission on Judicial Performance. Although he was not removed from the bench, the commission found he showed a pattern of misconduct and lacked judicial temperament.

Before his election to the court, Kreep was a Ramona lawyer who was active in the “birther” movement that sought to investigate President Obama’s citizenship.

The San Diego County Bar Association evaluated all of the judicial candidates on the June 5 ballot and in May published its ratings of the contenders, which ranged from “lacking qualifications” to “exceptionally qualified.”

Kreep was the only candidate found by the bar to be lacking qualifications. Conversely, Brower was rated as “qualified.”

State Court judges in California serve six-year terms and are elected by county voters on a nonpartisan ballot at a general election. Vacancies are filled through appointment by the Governor. At the end of each term, judges must seek re-election and attorneys are able to run for open seats.

–From Staff and Wire Reports

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