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SAN JOSE — Two more candidates may be eyeballing a coveted spot on the Sixth District Court of Appeal now that Gov. Gray Davis has made Conrad Rushing the court’s presiding justice. Rushing was named PJ last week, but his elevation still leaves a single vacancy on the court. Davis is the first Democratic governor since the Sixth District was created in the 1980s, and that fact has motivated a lengthy list of bench Democrats to line up for the opening. The latest two are Santa Clara Superior Court Judges Jamie Jacobs-May and Robert Baines, attorneys say. They join an already long list of superior court judges in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties who have made it known they would accept elevation to the appellate bench. The wait has been a long one for the hopefuls. Davis is known for taking his time in picking judges, and the Sixth District has been no exception. The appellate court has had a vacancy for more than a year. During an interview this fall, Davis’ appointments secretary, Burt Pines, said the governor is waiting for the right applicants for all of the local judicial vacancies, including the Sixth District. “I grant you in some cases there have been some long-standing vacancies, but those vacancies are more due to the candidate pool than the internal processes we have here,” Pines said. “If you look at some appointments, you will find some people move very rapidly through the system.” Right now, the inside track may belong to Jacobs-May, a 52-year-old Democrat who was first appointed to the municipal court in 1989 by GOP Gov. George Deukmejian and elevated through court consolidation. Her name, according to published reports , has gone to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission. A former Santa Clara County deputy district attorney, Jacobs-May has been working as a civil case manager for the past several years. Upon her request, the Boalt Hall graduate is moving to civil trials this year. Baines, 57, was appointed to the municipal court by Gov. Jerry Brown in 1983 and was elected to superior court in 1984. Baines, also a Boalt Hall graduate, handles civil trials. Other applicants include Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Jack Komar; Santa Cruz County Judges Richard McAdams, Arthur Danner III, and Robert Yonts Jr. Santa Clara County Counsel Ann Ravel and Stanford Vice Provost LaDoris Cordell, who served on the Santa Clara bench, submitted their names during Davis’ first term. Retired Monterey Superior Court Judge Richard Silver withdrew his application after waiting for a year and joined JAMS. Many had initially predicted that Davis would keep with tradition and appoint a judge from one of the three other counties represented by the Sixth District — San Benito, Santa Cruz or Monterey. But now some are speculating that Davis views the Sixth District as a primarily urban one — much like the First District — and that could tip the balance to a Santa Clara appointee. William Wunderlich, a former Monterey Superior Court jurist, is the only member of the court from outside of Santa Clara County.

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