Judge Kathleen Ireland's retirement created an open seat sought by Kenneth Gottlieb, a former legislator and Hollywood city commissioner, and Steven Schaet, a trial lawyer.
Voters have only good choices in this race. Mr. Gottlieb, 47, served in the state House from 1998 to 2006, when he was term-limited. Before that he spent six years on the City Commission. He runs his own law practice and does a lot of work representing clients before local governments. He has an extensive community-service record. He has been an attorney for 21 years.
Mr. Schaet, 38, does criminal-defense work -- both misdemeanors and felonies. Before going into private practice in 2004 Mr. Schaet spent two years at the Broward public defender's office in his first job as a lawyer.
Our choice is Mr. Schaet, though it wasn't an easy one to make. Mr. Gottlieb is smart and has a solid record as a progressive, often innovative lawmaker. But making the laws and applying them in court are not the same thing. Though Mr. Schaet has fewer years as a lawyer on his resume than Mr. Gottlieb, he has spent them almost exclusively in the same court where he seeks to become judge.
For Broward County Court Group 20 The Miami Herald recommends STEVEN SCHAET.