Candyce Abbatt wants to clean up Dearborn's .
The lifelong Dearborn resident and lawyer hopes to do so by securing an open seat on the bench in the general election this November.
Abbatt is one of three candidates for the open seat on the court. The primary election will occur on Aug. 7–which will narrow the pool to two candidates–followed by the general election on Nov. 6. Judges serve six-year terms with elections occurring every two years.
Abbatt acknowledged that the court has had difficulty maintaining a stellar reputation because of in which two current judges–Mark Somers and William Hultgren–have an interest. Still, she said she is unsure if that can be remedied in the short term.
“(The court's) conflict is so deep I'm not sure there's much you can do about it,” she said.
While she admits that the incumbent candidate for the open seat, Richard Wygonik, was not involved in this litigation, she said that he was guilty of one failing.
Because Somers and Hultgren had an interest in the pending litigation, they could not be the chief judge. Abbatt said that Wygonik did not want or apply for the position, but by the Michigan Supreme Court, with his term starting at the beginning of this year.
“I understand he didn't sign on to be chief judge,” Abbatt said. “But sometimes you've got to step up to it, and he just didn't.”
She emphasized that this election is especially important as she expects that the newly-elected judge is likely to become chief judge.
Abbatt ran for the position in 2008 but lost in a narrow election to Judge Somers. She said her decision to run this time was made in part because the support she received from members of the community and because she did not approve of how the court has been run recently.
“I really didn't want to wait two years to run (against Somers)," she said. "We just can't afford to wait any longer."
Personally, Abbatt said she was driven to pursue this office because of her commitment to her hometown.
“I think I'm the right person at the right time for this job.”
Abbatt has been serving on the Dearborn Library Commission since 1997, was the first female president to of the Wayne State Law Alumni Association and is currently a partner at Fried Saperstein Abbatt P.C.
Her major endorsements include the UAW, Dearborn Firefighters union, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and
Learn more at www.candyceabbatt.com.
Editor's Note: Candyce Abbatt has written for Dearborn Patch as a columnist, and continues to write as a blogger for the site.