Latvian fails to be elected Los Angeles judge

A Latvian-American has lost a bid to be elected a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, according to results of the June 3 California primary election. Eduard R. Abele, a deputy district attorney for the county since 1987, came in third.

Abele ran against criminal prosecutor Michael J. O’Gara and criminal attorney C. Edward Mack.

Abele received 117,799 votes, or 25.87 percent of ballots. O’Gara got 40 percent and Mack earned 34.13 percent, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office. Because no candidate received a majority of the total votes cast, O’Gara and Mack will face off in the general election in November.

Abele has successfully prosecuted more than 90 criminal cases, according to his campaign Web site. He had endorsements from a number of officials and organizations, including Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley.

Another Latvian-American judge, Dzintra Janavs, would have been up for re-election if she had not decided to retire. Janavs, who spent more than 20 years on the bench, in June 2006 failed to be re-elected to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She lost to Lynn Diane Olson, a result several observers saw as unfortunate, including the Los Angeles Times, which had endorsed the Republican judge. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in October 2006 then appointed Janavs to an empty seat on the Superior Court. Janavs would have had to run for re-election again if she wanted to keep the new post.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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