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A Flint, Mich., trial lawyer with the right last name for the ballot will sit on the Michigan Court of Appeals after defeating a Lansing-area trial judge. With 94 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, Michael Kelly was leading 54 percent, or 432,550 votes, to 46 percent, or 369,446 votes, for Ingham County Circuit Judge Paula Manderfield. Kelly has an Irish surname that likely gave him an edge in the low-profile race. Marilyn Kelly (no relation) is on the Michigan Supreme Court, and Frank Kelley was Michigan’s longtime attorney general. Michael Kelly will serve a six-year term on the appeals court after campaigning in the large 4th District, which extends north from Lansing to northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The court’s 28 judges are elected to districts but serve statewide. Heading into the election, Kelly talked up his 19 years representing people he said do not always get a fair shake in Michigan’s appellate courts. Manderfield said she deserved a promotion because of her 15 years as a Lansing-area judge handling criminal cases, family law and lawsuits involving state agencies. All four districts had seats coming open, but the only position being contested was the one sought by Kelly, 46, and Manderfield, 55. Kelly likely will be more liberal than Judge Bill Schuette, a Republican who decided to step down at the end of his term, possibly to run for governor or state attorney general in 2010. Kelly’s Flint office is outside the district but he said he lives and works part-time inside the district in Leelanau County. Unopposed incumbent judges who won re-election are: • 1st District: Karen Fort Hood, Chris Murray and Michael Talbot. • 2nd District: Mark Cavanagh, E. Thomas Fitzgerald, Henry William Saad and Elizabeth Gleicher. • 3rd District: Richard Bandstra, Jane Markey and Jane Beckering. • 4th District: Alton Davis and Patrick Meter. Appeals judges earn $151,441 annually. Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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