FORT LAUDERDALE – Broward County voters will be asked to
decide several judges’ races at the Aug. 30 state primaries, including five
elections pitting challengers against currently sitting judges in the county
and 12 candidates hoping to capture one of four open seats.
Lea Krauss is one candidate seeking a seat for which there
is no incumbent. Krauss is running in Group 9 for a seat on the 17th
Circuit Court bench. She faces opposition from Andrea Ruth Gunderson and Maxine
Krauss is a Miami Law School graduate who served as a
prosecutor for three years with the Broward State Attorney’s office. After that,
she worked in civil law firms before starting her own practice, where she has
represented clients in criminal, family and civil law.
“Becoming a judge has been a longtime dream of mine, and my
extensive legal experience, as well as my even temperament, makes me the most
qualified candidate in the race,” Krauss told the Florida Record.
Krauss stressed the need to use available technology to
increase efficiency in the court system and help to reduce the backlog of
“Our court system is certainly adequate to judiciously
handle matters,” Krauss said. “However, we should strive to be extraordinary
rather than settle for the status quo. I believe by taking advantage of
technologies like video-conferencing and electronic email many aspects of the
daily courtroom administration can become more efficient and help to reduce the
backlog. Streamlining access to my courtroom and my staff will expedite the
entire judicial process.”
With so many candidates vying for open seats in this year’s
Broward judges’ races, Krauss said she feels she has the skills and experience
to stand out above the crowd.
“I joined this race because serving on the bench marries my
two passions – the law and community service,” Krauss said. “I truly believe
that my leadership skills, extensive experience in the courtroom and belief in
treating all people fairly, uniquely qualify me to be a judge.”
In addition to running her own law firm in Fort Lauderdale,
Krauss said she devotes much of her time to civic work and involvement in
several organizations. Specifically, Krauss said she is involved with Mission
United, Legal Aid, Shoes for the Soul, Stand Amongst Friends, Habitat for
Humanity, the Humane Society, JAFCO (Jewish Adoption Foster Care Options), AIPAC
(American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and Jewish Federation.
In addition, Krauss has served on a number of boards and
committees, including as president of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Network
(GLLN), director of the Pride Center at Equality Park, inaugural chairman of Women with Pride, board member of the B’Nai B’Rith Justice Unit and the steering
committee for the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Executive Circle.
One of the open seats is that being vacated by Judge Martin
Dishowitz, who is retiring after serving 21 years on the bench. Dishowitz
declined a request to comment on his retirement and the highly competitive
Broward County judgeship ballot.
Sitting county and circuit judges who face opposition in the
2016 election include Matthew Destry, Barbara McCarthy, Nina Weatherly Di
Pietro, Stephen J. Zaccor and Kal Le Var Evans.