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Illegitimate Son Campaigns Against Father in Judicial Race

October 26, 1990

DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) _ A municipal judge candidate is facing strong opposition, not just from his opponent but also from am angry son born out of wedlock 34 years ago.

Leo R. Villa, 62, a part-time court commissioner, is running against trial lawyer David W. Perkins for the judgeship.

But Villa’s son, Richard, also is opposing his father’s candidacy, saying a bad father will make a bad judge.

″Leo R. Villa’s son says vote no on Villa,″ read more than 200 campaign signs that Richard Villa has plastered around this Los Angeles suburb.

He said he’s angry because his father has seen him only twice and barely acknowledges his existence.

″How can someone who lacks such morals and compassion toward me judge others?″ said the younger Villa, a computer book salesman. ″After thinking about it a lot, I decided to go public.″

Richard Villa was born to Valma E. Vose in Orange in 1956. Ms. Vose said Leo Villa, then 27, ended their relationship shortly after he found out she was pregnant.

In 1958, a judge declared Villa was Richard Villa’s father and ordered him to pay $60 a month child support. In 1975, those payments were dropped to $40 after Leo Villa asked to stop payments altogether.

The elder Villa would not comment on Richard Villa’s campaign. The elder Villa’s wife, Jennie, said he does not plan to stop his son.

Leo Villa’s brother, Robert, said his brother met his legal obligations by paying child support until Richard Villa turned 21.

″It really has nothing to do with whether he’s qualified as a judge or not,″ Robert Villa said. ″If he didn’t make the child support payments, then fine. But he paid.″

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