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Bar Association rates candidates

Nevada County lawyers rated their associates for two races, and released their results late Wednesday.

In each of the races for Superior Court judge and District Attorney, the peer rankings clustered around two top candidates.

Tom Anderson, the county’s Public Defender, won his colleagues’ highest rating for Superior Court Judge, with 28 votes as best candidate. Ray Shine, a Grass Valley lawyer in private practice, came in a close second with 24 votes.



In the D.A.’s race, lawyers gave Deputy D.A. Cliff Newell the top rating, with 22 votes as best candidate. Fellow Deputy D.A. Jim Phillips earned a very close second spot with 19 votes.

“The plebiscite is intended to provide a perspective to the public of the opinions of members of the Nevada County Bar regarding these candidates,” Vice-president Steve Baker, of Cedar Ridge, said.




The Nevada County Bar Association conducted the plebiscite of its 131 members in late April, Baker said. Of those, 69 members returned ballots. Members of the League of Women Voters counted the ballots in early May.

Bar President Michael Colantuono did not participate in the plebiscite process because he is a candidate for judge, Baker said.

Lawyers were asked to rate each candidate as being “highly qualified,” “qualified,” “not qualified” and “no opinion.”

Combining the “highly qualified” and “qualified” ratings, Phillips and Newell each received 38 votes.

Then, lawyers were asked to say which candidate they thought was the best for the position.

To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

Best – Highly Qualified – Qualified – Not Qualified – No Opinion

Judicial Candidates

Anderson: 28 – 34 – 23 – 2 – 0

Colantuono: 11 – 20 – 20 – 2 – 22

Jensen: 1 – 3 – 8 – 19 – 34

Litchfield: 4 – 7 – 15 – 22 – 19

Shine: 24 – 28 – 16 – 10 – 10

Smith: 1 – 2 – 17 – 15 – 29

D.A. Candidates

Newell: 22 – 16 – 22 – 5 – 16

Phillips: 19 – 12 – 26 – 10 – 15

Silber: 9 – 2 – 13 – 28 – 19

No Opinion on D.A.: 5


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