But two gay men, Michael Nava and Daniel Dean, saw him as potentially vulnerable and, noting the lack of LGBT appointments coming out of the current administration, filed to challenge Ulmer.
Ulmer's a smart and appealing person with an impressive legal resume, and we see no scandal that would mandate his removal from office. But we also recognize that this is an elected office, and that it's perfectly acceptable for candidates who think they would better serve the public and the bench to run against an incumbent. In this case, we're endorsing Michael Nava.
Nava, the grandson of Mexican immigrants, makes the case that judicial appointments can be just as political as elections: out of some 500 judicial appointments, Schwarzenegger has named perhaps five openly LGBT candidates. Nava also would bring a different perspective to the courts. His career has been in the public sector and he currently works as a staff attorney drafting decisions for Superior Court Justice Carlos Moreno. More than anyone else running for judge this year, Nava is an advocate of openness in the judiciary. He told us the courts are the third branch of government and should be held to most of the same sunshine standards at the executive and legislature.
Daniel Dean also makes a compelling case and has extensive courtroom experience as a litigator and judge pro tem. His accessibility and sense of humor would serve him well on the bench, and we hope he continues to seek a judicial slot. But in this race, we're endorsing Nava.