A new candidate has entered the race for an open seat as judge in Dearborn's .
Dearborn attorney Candyce Abbatt on Tuesday announced her intention to seek election to the spot in the 2012 election.
Abbatt, a 29-year attorney and lifelong Dearborn resident, joins Dearborn in seeking Judge Richard Wygonik's seat, which is in November's election. Salamey is an attorney and formerly served as a magistrate for the court.
Wygonik, who has served as judge since 2005 and last month, has not officially announced his run for reelection.
Abbatt is a graduate of , the , and Wayne State University Law School. She has been a partner in private practice for 29 years, specializing in family law.
“My countless experiences with families in crisis, and decades spent in the courtroom have provided me with the outlook, experience, and temperament needed to properly fill the honorable position of local judge," Abbatt said in a statement. "My lifetime spent in Dearborn, and the growing concern for the safety of my loved ones, friends, and neighbors motivates me to run at this time.”
Abbatt has also served on the Dearborn Library Commission since 1997, including four years as chair. She was the first woman president of the Wayne State University Law Alumni Association and serves on the executive committee of the Law School’s Board of Visitors. She has been a trustee of the Henry Ford Hospital Western Regional Board, and in 2011, was appointed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to the Detroit Medical Center Legacy Board, where she serves on the Health and Wellness Committee. She is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan Foundation.
Candyce and her husband Bill, a patent attorney, were co-chairs of the Oakwood Hospital Foundation Sanctuary Project Committee which helped to raise funds for the dedicated in 2011. They are the parents of two daughters.
This is Abbatt's second run for a spot on the district court bench. In 2008, she faced a narrow loss to incumbent Judge Mark Somers.
Abbatt cited several recent lawsuits against Somers as reason why change is needed at the court.
“This dysfunction has to stop," she said. "Dearborn deserves better. Order must be restored to the court.”
Abbatt continued, “I hope the voters are ready for change at the local level. It’s time to move forward in a positive, dignified and respectful manner–I’m ready."
The primary will take place Aug. 7. The general election will be held on Nov. 6.
Editor's Note: Candyce Abbatt has written for Dearborn Patch as a columnist, and continues to write as a blogger for the site.