COCHISE COUNTY — While Cochise County Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson is running unopposed for the seat he’s been occupying since February 2019, two other judicial races that have been marked by either contentiousness or controversy have attracted a crowded field of candidates.
Dickerson is the sole candidate for judge in Division Four of the Cochise County Superior Court, the seat he was appointed to in February 2019 by Gov. Doug Ducey. Dickerson took the bench after Superior Judge Karl Elledge retired that same month.
But the court’s Division Five seat, which is being vacated by Superior Judge James Conlogue when he retires at the end of the year, and the Justice of the Peace for the Sierra Vista Justice Court Precinct Five race, have each attracted four candidates.
The four vying for Conlogue’s bench includes one write-in candidate.
Additionally, both of these races have already been shadowed by negativity. The Division Five judge’s race has seen contentious social media posts among the candidates and unsuccessful legal challenges to have candidates removed from the ballot.
Meanwhile, Pat Call, the current Justice of the Peace, has been dogged by criticism. Call, a former Cochise County supervisor, is not an attorney and he was placed on the bench by his fellow county supervisors when Dickerson was appointed to the Division Four seat.
Dickerson was Justice of the Peace in the Sierra Vista Justice Court for several years and was the presiding justice. When Call was named to the position, it riled many citizens who claimed he was chosen too quickly.
Call is not running for the seat and has not returned emails or calls from the Herald/Review to answer queries about his decision.
Of the four running for the seat now, two are not attorneys — Wilma Mrosek-Richards and Kenneth Curfman. The latter is the current Tombstone magistrate. The other two candidates, Kristina Guerrero-Sisneroz and Adele Drumlevitch, are lawyers. Guerrero-Sisneroz works in the Sierra Vista Justice Court as a prosecutor. All four live in Sierra Vista.
Drumlevitch is the only Democrat in the group. She will run against the Republican candidate who garners the most votes in the primary election on Aug. 4, said Cochise County Elections Supervisor Lisa Marra. The general election is on Nov. 3.
In the Superior Court race, write-in candidate Anne Carl is the sole Democrat, while two other competitors — Roger Contreras and Jason Lindstrom — are Republicans. Attorney Sandy Russell is running with no party affiliation, and Marra said the race in the general election could end up with a Democrat, a Republican, and an independent candidate — Russell.
Marra said the independent candidate automatically advances to the general election because independents do not run in a party primary. The highest vote-getter between Contreras and Lindstrom will advance to the general election.
Because she is a write-in candidate, Carl must receive at least 453 valid write-in votes in the primary to get on the general election ballot, Marra explained. That means voters must be eligible to vote, they must write in Carl’s name and they must fill out the oval next to the space where the write-in candidate name goes.