Constable, justice of peace races not as high profile, but still important - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Constable, justice of peace races not as high profile, but still important

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Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010 1:00 pm | Updated: 10:31 am, Sun Oct 24, 2010.

Their names may not be as familiar as those in top political jobs across the Valley, but if you ever come in contact with the justice system, it's likely to involve a constable or justice of the peace.

Constables are the elected officials who carry out the duties of the justice court, serving the orders of protection or eviction, issuing subpoenas and summonses, and exercising limited powers of arrest.

"They're hugely important," says John Kennedy, board president of the Arizona Justice of the Peace Association, who said many members of the public will come in contact with municipal courts or justice courts throughout their lives.

Justices of the peace perform many judicial duties, including marriages - but they don't have to be lawyers.

Civil and criminal traffic cases, evictions, orders of protection, injunctions of harassment, small-claims suits, civil cases that involve $10,000 or less - all are handled by justice courts.

JP races:

East Mesa District: Incumbent Republican Mark Chiles is running unopposed for his second four-year term.

Kyrene District: Incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Rogers is running for a second four-year term against Republican Don Calender, who served four years ago.

San Marcos District: Incumbent Republican Keith Frankel is running for a second term against. Democratic opponent Michael Corey Chan.

University Lakes District: Incumbent John Ore is retiring after 16 years. Seeking to replace him are Democrat Meg Burton-Cahill, Republican Charles Boles and Independent Matt Nelson.

West Mesa District: Republican Mark Anderson against Libertarian candidate Rachel Kielsky.

CONSTABLE RACES

According to Maricopa County Board of Elections records, candidates for constable are:

East Mesa District: Republican William Taylor is unopposed. He began serving as constable in 1990.

Kyrene District: Democratic incumbent Jon Levenson, who has served one term, against Republican Brandon Schmoll. The Constable Ethics Standards and Training Board, which investigates complaints about constables, has issued formal citations to only one of the incumbent candidates: Levenson. The board cited him five times, once for failing to deliver an order of protection. The letter says he was "negligent and irresponsible" and worked with "a lack of personal organization."

San Marcos District: Republican incumbent Kevin Jones, who has served since 1998, is unopposed.

University Lakes District: Republican incumbent Joe Arredondo is unopposed in the general election. He has been constable since 1995.

West Mesa District: Republican incumbent Fred Arnett, who has served since 1999, is running unopposed.

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