Our local court, 54B District Court, has two elected judges. Becasue one is retiring, we will vote on November 6 for a new judge. There are two candidates: Andrea Larkin and Mark Meadows. I have asked them to answer questions about competing interests, and I reproduce their answers below.
The 54B Court may seem like small potatoes, but it actually matters a lot in East Lansing. As the court's website indicates, 54B judges adjudicate: "criminal cases, including preliminary examinations for felonies and misdemeanors; civil cases up to $25,000 including small claims disputes up to $3,000 and landlord/tenant disputes; civil infractions, including traffic and parking violations."
The consequence is that, if you need to fight City Hall, 54B is where you do it. This is why it is particularly important to understand what relationships the candidates have with those in City Hall, wherein 54B is literally located.
It is also important to note that, "The Court, although operated under the state judicial system, is funded by the City of East Lansing and all revenues not statutorily designated are returned to the City's general fund" (again quoting the court's website). This means that the more the City wins in 54B cases, the more money the City gets.
Here are the questions I put to Larkin and Meadows: