Six candidates file for Muskegon County Circuit Court judgeship held by James M. Graves Jr. | MLive.com
Six Muskegon County attorneys have filed as candidates for the 14th Circuit Court judgeship being vacated by Judge James M. Graves Jr., who retires at the end of this year.
Tuesday at 5 p.m. was the filing deadline for non-incumbent judicial candidates to get on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. Besides the Graves seat, only incumbent judges are on the ballot this year in Muskegon County.
These are the declared candidates for the open Muskegon County Circuit Court seat for a six-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2013, according to the Michigan Secretary of State website:
-- Joe Bush specializes in probate law and estate planning. He also does civil and criminal litigation, family, business and real-estate law.
-- Karen Groenhout specializes in family law and Social Security Disability claims and has experience in criminal and civil law. She has worked as a Circuit Court referee for Muskegon and Ottawa counties.
-- Raymond J. Kostrzewa is a senior Muskegon County assistant prosecutor. He ran in 2010 for the 60th District Judge seat held by Andrew Wierengo III, losing to the incumbent.
-- Annette Smedley practices criminal-defense law, working as a public defender primarily in circuit courts in Muskegon and Mason counties. She ran in 2008 for Muskegon County prosecutor as a Republican, losing to incumbent Prosecutor Tony Tague.
-- Michael G. Walsh practices elder law, family law, criminal defense, personal-injury law, civil litigation and other areas. He was a longtime Muskegon Chronicle reporter before entering full-time legal practice in 2001.
-- David Wells has a general practice and has specialized training in probate administration, estate planning, real estate transactions, facilitative mediation and advanced arbitration case management.
In other Muskegon County judicial elections, 60th District Judge Michael J. Nolan and Muskegon County Probate Judge Gregory C. Pittman seek re-election and face no opposition on the ballot. District and probate judges also serve six-year terms.