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Politics

Brower Takes Superior Court Judge Seat From Kreep

San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep, left, and Deputy District Attorney and Marine Corps Reserve judge advocate Matt Brower.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep, left, and Deputy District Attorney and Marine Corps Reserve judge advocate Matt Brower.

Superior Court

Matt Brower: 59.86%

Gary Kreep: 40.14%

100% of precincts reporting

UPDATED: 12:12 p.m., Nov. 12, 2018

View All Election Results

UPDATED: 12:12 p.m., Nov. 12, 2018

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, incumbent Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep has lost his seat to San Diego Deputy District Attorney Matt Brower.

Kreep last year was issued a "severe public censure" by the state Commission on Judicial Performance for 29 counts of misconduct. He was also a key player in the "birther" movement that spread falsehoods about the birthplace of former President Barack Obama. Obama was born in Hawaii and produced multiple versions of his birth certificate, but Kreep still publicly doubts the former president's citizenship.

Brower said he ran to restore integrity and impartiality to the court.

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San Diego Deputy District Attorney Matt Brower is hoping for a rare victory over incumbent Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep in a race that has drawn high interest because of Kreep's conduct while on the bench.

Kreep last year was issued a "severe public censure" by the state Commission on Judicial Performance for 29 counts of misconduct. The panel found Kreep had violated campaign laws when he first ran for the bench in 2012, and that he had made inappropriate remarks to attorneys and defendants in the courtroom. The censure is the most serious punishment for judges short of removal from the bench.

Prior to his election, Kreep was a key player in the "birther" movement that spread falsehoods about the birthplace of former President Barack Obama. Obama was born in Hawaii and produced multiple versions of his birth certificate, but Kreep still publicly doubts the former president's citizenship.

Brower, who came in second in the June 6 election, has said he is running to restore integrity and impartiality to the court. Successful challenges to incumbent judges are exceptionally rare, in part because judicial races usually do not attract much attention.

No incumbent judge on the San Diego Superior Court has lost re-election since November 2002, when challenger Richard Whitney unseated Judge Geary Cortez, who had been convicted of battering his wife. The election was still relatively close, with Cortez winning 48.7 percent of the vote.

In 2010, former San Diego Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido resigned from the bench after being issued a public censure from the Commission on Judicial Performance similar to that of Kreep. Salcido had been re-elected earlier that year, before the commission's investigation had been made public.