How to Vote on Arizona Judges


Andrew HurwitzRuth McGregorDuring every election cycle I am always asked which judges to vote for on the ballot. This is always the biggest mystery since almost every judge refuses to answer candidate surveys.

Below is what we know on the judges and how you should consider voting. All of these judges will be retained. In fact, no judge has been turned out of office in over 30 years! However, judges do like to review their numbers the day after the election to see how they compare to their cohorts.

Here is the list:

Andrew Hurwitz – VOTE NO – Liberal Democrat
Ruth McGregor – VOTE NO – Liberal Democrat
Division One – Including Maricopa County
Donn Kessler – VOTE NO – Liberal Democrat
Patricia Norris – VOTE NO – Liberal Democrat
Maurice Portley – VOTE YES – Democrat, but a good judge
Division Two – Southern Arizona
William Brammer – VOTE NO – Liberal Democrat
Paul Eckerstrom – VOTE NO – Liberal Democrat
Philip Espinoza – VOTE YES – Solid Conservative
Joseph Howard – VOTE YES – Solid Conservative
Barbara Rodriguez Mundell, Presiding Judge – VOTE NO!!!!!!!
Be advised that many of the judges who are listed as Republicans switched parties when Hull was in office. They are actually Democrats.
Edward Burke – VOTE YES
Alfred Fenzel – VOTE YES
Jeffrey Hotham – VOTE YES
Brian Ishikawa -VOTE YES
Michael Jones – VOTE YES
All are fine judges
NO on all others, especially Barbara Rodriguez Mundell


  1. redcardphreek says

    I tend to vote no on the judges that have lower rankings across the board in the publicity pamphlet we receive.

    Not that it matters, has any judge ever been removed from office?

  2. Randall Holdridge says


    I take a similar approach to the publicity pamphlet ratings from the review board; I tend to look most closely the rankings for law knowledge and judicial temperament.

  3. Randall Holdridge says

    I’m assuming that DSW and DSW may be the same person? T or F? But who after all is the anonymous DSW to guide anyone’s vote?

    All these Arizona judges have been evaluated by a review process which includes other judges, lawyers, victims and defendants, and all those jurors selected randomly from the Arizona citizenry (i.e., ordinary people, salt of the earth, as it were)to serve in their courts.

    This evaluation by an unnamed person (DSW) of unknown qualifications considers nothing which might be salient in the re-appointment of judges — it shows no interest in their knowledge of the law, no consideration of their judicial temperament or work ethic, no mention of the respect they may or may not hold among their peers or with the public who has been affected by their work.

    It even acknowledges that it doesn’t really know what political party they’re in; and this election is, after all, a non-partisan approval process.

    Information about judicial review boards’ evaluation of these non-partisan candidates is available in your voters’ manual or on-line.

  4. Only two judges have ever been removed by vote, and that was years ago.

    Randall, your comments are well-taken, but simplistic. The truth is that the process of selecting and retaining judges in Maricopa County is just as political as any other. However, this type of retention process insulates judges from any real criticism as most votes culd give a rip about voting yes or no for people they’ve never heard of. I believe there are arguments to made both ways on this one.

  5. I would add Douglas Rayes to the list of yes votes, since he ruled correctly on the marriage amendment when it was challenged under the “single-subject rule.”

  6. Knowing a judge’s party affiliation or level of conservatism/liberalism is very important to me, and so I’m thankful for this info on this site. Please clarify for me — on my ballot, the office is listed “Superior Court Tribunal Superior” and not a single name is one listed above. Is it safe to assume (I presume not) that my list falls under voting “no on all others” OR is “Superior Court Maricopa County” not one in the same list of judges? HOw do I find out about my list of names? (Michael Alfred, Ted Borek, Christopher Browning, Hector Campoy, Terry Chandler, Michael Cruikshank, John E Davis, Charles Harrington, John Kelly, Richard Nichols)

  7. Vote NO for Judges DOT com

  8. Thank you very much for providing this list. For the most part, all I had to do was vote the opposite of what you suggest, except for Portley. I think I’ll stick with your recommendation for her.

  9. Mary Kelley says

    Thanks for publishing this. I will vote YES on every judge you say to vote NO on, and also will send this link to all my liberal friends.

  10. erin schulman says

    not one of the judges listed was on my ballot-what’s up?

  11. Only a portion of the sitting judges are up for “retention” at each election. This list was originally published in 2006 and does not included any of the judges that are on the 2008 ballot.

  12. Not one judge is on my ballot, I will have to do more research

  13. I can tell that this is not the first time you mention this topic. Why have you chosen it again?

  14. Why do you say to vote yes for judge Fenzel? He is definitely not republican. I took his University of Phoenix class and he ripped on Glenn Beck several times. From what he teaches in class he seems left wing and pro Obama. I will only vote for republican judges, but that is just my opinion.

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