By Carlos Alcalá, Sacramento Bee
As a rule, Superior Court judge elections are, well, sober as a judge.
Incumbents frequently return to the bench without facing a substantial challenge at the polls.
The race for Office 7 in El Dorado Superior Court is different, with two challengers – Joseph Hoffman and Stephen W. Valentine – taking on incumbent Judge Warren Stracener.
None of the candidates will directly criticize his opponents on the record, but it appears clear the challengers consider Stracener vulnerable.
Stracener was appointed in late 2010 as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger prepared to leave office.
He worked in the Department of Personnel Administration for two decades and had a role in the furlough fights under Schwarzenegger. That has marked him as something of an outsider, he said.
“People assume because you’ve been appointed by someone from Sacramento, you must be lock step with those values,” he said.