Monday, May 26, 2008

go Mull and Lewis!

From the Ben Zion Hershberg in the C-J, news that Jeremy Mull and David Lewis will be competing with two others to replace Judge Daniel Donahue as a Clark County Circuit Judge.

The other two may well be fine candidates, but I have personal experience with Mull and Lewis and am excited that they're both in the field.

Jeremy was in our Sunday night Bible study years ago-- and you can gain a sense of his character by looking at his current job. If it's the same David Lewis, he was the lawyer who finalized our two adoptions in Clark Co. court.

As Clark County Circuit Court held a retirement party yesterday for Judge Daniel Donahue, Gov. Mitch Daniels' office was considering which of two young Republican lawyers to appoint to serve the rest of Donahue's term.

At least two Democratic candidates also were making plans for a party caucus next month that will nominate a candidate to run against the governor's appointee in November.

"An appointment is expected next week," said Jane Jankowski, Daniels' press secretary.

Floyd County Deputy Prosecutor Abe Navarro, 36, and Jeremy Mull, 34, a former Clark County deputy prosecutor now working in Afghanistan for a State Department contractor, have applied for the job, Jankowski said, and Daniels is expected to choose one of them.

Donahue will depart next Thursday after more than two decades on the bench.

David Buskill, the Clark County Republican chairman, said he has been contacted by the governor's office about the opening and recommended Navarro, who was a coordinator of Daniels' 2004 campaign in Floyd County and helped in Clark County.

Buskill said he admires Navarro's broad legal knowledge and warm personality. "He's a really good candidate," Buskill said.

He said he doesn't know Mull. But those who do think highly of him.

"I would recommend him for any position in the law," said Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart, a Democrat who employed Mull as a deputy prosecutor for 7½ years.

Mull has a good legal mind and the temperament to be a judge, said Stewart, who recalled that Mull completed law school at Indiana University in Bloomington in only two years rather than the customary three.

Donahue also thinks highly of Mull, saying during a brief interview at his retirement party that he "is an excellent young attorney."

Donahue said he doesn't know Navarro that well.

Navarro said becoming a judge "has been a goal of mine since law school, even before."

He has worked 5½ years as a deputy for Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson, a Republican. He received his law degree from the Vermont School of Law in 2001, served as an intern one summer with the Vermont Supreme Court and was a law clerk for Allen County Superior Court in Fort Wayne for the 2001-2002 term.

Navarro, a native of the Philippines, said he moved to Indianapolis in 1972, where he grew up. He lives in Jeffersonville with his wife and stepdaughter.

Mull couldn't be reached for comment. According to information he submitted to the governor's office, he is the State Department's police-prosecution coordinator for Afghanistan in Kabul.

Buskill said he expects the county Republican Party to name the governor's appointee as its nominee for the general election.

Rod Pate, the Clark County Democratic chairman, said lawyers David Lewis and Dan Moore have told him they will run at the party's June 17 caucus for the nomination.

Lewis, 57, is a former county commissioner and ran for circuit judge 22 years ago, losing to Donahue. Lewis said he believes his broad legal experience has prepared him for the post.

Moore, 55, the Clark County attorney, came in fourth in the May 6 Democratic primary for judge of Superior Court 2. He said he has ideas for improving court efficiency and access, including Saturday and night hours, and consolidating cases involving one defendant.


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