Judicial candidates Andrea Ruth Gundersen and Kim Theresa Mollica spent much of Tuesday greeting voters at the Herb Skolnick Center in Pompano Beach. Both women won their respective races.
Gundersen defeated Lea P. Krauss, former chair of the Gay & Lesbian Lawyers Network, for the bench in circuit court 17, group 9.
Gundersen, a Massachusetts native, has practiced law for 27 years, including 23 years in Broward County. She has appeared in several events at the Pride Center and told SFGN her expertise is in the field of family law.
When asked how she would judge LGBT people, Gundersen said, “All people are equal and I will follow the law.”
Gundersen collected 334,337 votes (57 percent) to 255,996 (43 percent) for Krauss. The margin was somewhat surprising after Krauss got the most votes in the August primary election. Previously, in a three-way contest, Krauss got 59,473 votes to 50,988 for Gunderson with Maxine K. Streeter pulling 47,541 votes.
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“While the results were not as I’d hoped, I’m very proud of our hard work and thankful to everyone who supported my campaign,” Krauss said. “Every judicial candidate listed second on the ballot in all five races lost. I am disappointed but I believe everything happens for a reason.”
A native of Long Island, N.Y., Krauss has practiced law in Florida for 16 years, working for the State Attorney’s Office and also as a criminal defense attorney. She serves as a Guardian Ad Litem and Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator.
Krauss married her spouse, April Halle, last year.
“I am looking forward to getting back into the courtroom and advocating for my clients,” Krauss said. “My phone has actually not stopped ringing with well wishes and new client calls. I am grateful for the journey.”
In the race for county judge group 14, Mollica collected 341,146 votes (59 percent) to defeat Brad A. Peterson who tallied 237, 552 votes (41 percent).
Barbara Roseann Duffy won the judicial post in circuit court 17, group 15, defeating Abbe Sheila Rifkin, 61 percent to 39 percent. Florence Taylor Barner was elected county judge in group three, defeating Rhoda Sokoloff, 60 percent to 40 percent. In county court, group seven, Nina Weatherly Pietro edged out Ian Richards, 51 percent to 48 percent.