Former state Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla of Pittsburg will seek a seat on the judicial bench in 2010 or 2012.
Canciamilla filed a candidate intention statement to run for Superior Court judge in Contra Costa County. He has not designated which of the county’s 35 departments he will seek but said he has no plans to challenge a sitting judge.
A moderate Democrat who often ran afoul of his party, Canciamilla had hoped to run for the state Senate. But he dropped out of the 2008 primary when Democratic leaders made it crystal clear they preferred Mark DeSaulnier, who was subsequently elected to the seat.
Canciamilla says the bitter partisanship in the Legislature helped open his eyes to the idea of running for judge.
“The nature of the partisanship in Sacramento right now is not a good fit for me,” said Canciamilla, who is a lawyer and co-owner of a Pittsburg funeral home. “I have a unique set of skills with my legal background and having seen the process of lawmaking from the legislative perspective. I want to find a place to use my talents where I can help people.”
The candidate intention statement was not intended to serve as a formal candidacy announcement, though.
It’s about the money.
Canciamilla had roughly $300,000 parked in a statewide attorney general campaign account, most of which came from his 2008 state Senate campaign fund. He never intended to run for attorney general but the law says candidates must segregate and account for every dime raised for campaigns. The new statement will allow him to transfer his state dollars into his judicial campaign.
Judicial candidates run countywide but must run for a specific department at the time they file for inclusion on the ballot.
OTHERS WHO HAVE FILED CANDIDATE INTENTION STATEMENTS IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY ARE:
Assessor: Earl “Bob” Brooks, incumbent Gus Kramer and John T. Nejedly
Auditor-Controller: Incumbent Steve Ybarra
Board of Supervisors, District 1: Mister Phillips and incumbent John Gioia
Board of Supervisors, District 4: Michael McGill and Karen Mitchoff
Clerk-Recorder: Incumbent Steve Weir
County Superintendent of Schools: Incumbent Joe Ovick
District Attorney: Mark Peterson, Elle Falahat and Dan O’Malley
Sheriff-Coroner: Brian Kalinowski and David Livingston
Treasurer-Tax Collector: Incumbent Bill Pollacek
State Assembly District 11: Democrats Emanuel Ogunleye and Susan Bonilla
State Assembly District 14: Democrat Nancy Skinner
State Assembly District 15: Republican Abram Wilson