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Sipe enters judicial race as write-in candidate

October 1, 2018

Unhappy with primary election results for Mohave County Superior Court Division 6 judge, Billy Sipe has decided to run for the position as a write-in in the Nov. 6 general election.

Sipe, currently judge pro tem, said he considered running for Division 6 when Richard Weiss announced he was retiring, but didn’t file because his fellow judge, Doug Camacho, was running for the position.

“I’m not going to run against one of my colleagues out of respect, and No. 2, I was pretty satisfied with most of the other candidates running as Republicans,” Sipe said Friday in an interview with the Daily Miner.

Camacho withdrew his candidacy because of personal commitments, and it was too late for Sipe to file to get on the ballot.

Attorney Eric Gordon won the primary election with 9,116 votes, topping Virginia Crews (6,290 votes) and Lenore Knudtson (5,257 votes).

Sipe said he and others in the community were concerned with the attorney’s qualifications, and he was encouraged to run as a write-in.

“I want to give Mohave County an option for a judge with four years of experience and 26 years of practice,” he said. “It’s just so important that we have a qualified judge because we make very important decisions every day that affect the community and the people.”

Sipe’s main concern is Gordon’s lack of experience, having been licensed as an attorney in Arizona for just five years. Another concern is a report in the Mohave Valley Daily News that Gordon had been terminated from his previous employment.

Bryan Whitney of the Whitney law firm said Gordon was fired for several issues, including lack of professionalism, legal knowledge and insubordination.

“It takes a layered body of work to be elevated to the bench,” Sipe said. “There’s just a lot of issues and concerns about his experience level.”

Sipe understands it’s going to be difficult to win the election as a write-in candidate, and hopes the voters of Mohave County understand the qualifications for all elected officials. The judge said he’s received substantial support from virtually the entire judicial community of Mohave County.

“It’s the road less traveled, but this road must be taken,” he said.

Gordon, who grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and went to a private law school in Virginia, said he’s always wanted to become a judge, and that he’ll bring integrity and lawful decision-making required for the job.

“As I look around the state and the country, I think we need people of principle and character to stand up and run for office,” Gordon said at the Mohave Republican Forum in August.

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