Five candidates seeking to be the next Washtenaw County probate judge answered questions about themselves, probate law and general judicial philosophy at a candidate forum held July 7, 2014. Jane Bassett, Tamara Garwood, Constance Jones, Tracy Van den Bergh and recently appointed judge Julia Owdziej will appear on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. The non-partisan primary will narrow the race to two candidates for the Nov. 4 general election. Owdziej was appointed to the seat by Gov. Rick Snyder just last month, on June 2, to fill the vacancy on the court left by Nancy Wheeler’s retirement.
Last Monday, three candidates vying to fill a vacancy on Washtenaw’s 22nd circuit court participated in a League of Women Voters forum. Pat Conlin, Mike Woodyard and Veronique Liem will compete in the non-partisan Aug. 5 primary, which will advance the top two candidates to the Nov. 4 general election. Conlin and Liem are local attorneys while Woodyard works in the Wayne County prosecutor’s office. At the July 7 forum, the candidates fielded questions covered topics including: family, the visibility of the court and general judicial philosophy.