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SAN JOSE � There are six attorneys in the running for two open seats on the Santa Clara County Superior Court bench. Douglas Allen, a partner with Burnett Burnett & Allen; George Cole, a Redwood City solo; and William Monahan, a partner with Burriss & Monahan, are vying for the seat vacated in August by Judge Dolores Carr, who is running for district attorney. The other seat up for grabs belongs to Judge Leonard Edwards II, who recently announced his retirement. Competition for Edwards’ seat includes Deputy DA Timothy Pitsker, court Commissioner Shawna Schwarz and Michele McKay McCoy, a former prosecutor in Santa Clara County. Edwards’ retirement created a last-minute scramble at the county elections office as people hurried to file candidacy papers before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline. Pitsker had just finished taking his election oath when McKay McCoy walked into the elections office to pick up her candidacy forms for the same race. “I am sort of surprised to see her here,” said Pitsker, who spent six years prosecuting career criminals, Three-Strikes and gang cases before moving to Santa Clara’s drug court last year. Pitsker said he decided to run Friday when he realized that only Schwarz had filed papers for Edwards’ seat. “We need qualified people on the bench,” he said. “I am well-qualified. � I can just jump right in.” McKay McCoy, who spent two decades in the DA’s office before retiring a few years ago, said she decided to run a few days ago, after receiving several encouraging phone calls from friends. “I think I’d be good,” she said. “I know how the courts work, and I know how they should work.” Cole, a patent litigator who had been a judge pro tem for Santa Clara County since 2000, thinks he’d make a good judge, too, after six years as a pro tem. “I found I had a talent for it,” Cole said. A Menlo Park resident, Cole filed papers for a judicial appointment a year ago, but decided to see how he’d fare at the polls. “I really believe in the system,” he said. Allen, the son of retired Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Bruce Allen, has tried and failed three times to get a seat on the bench. The last time was in 2000 against Carr. Monahan, a civil litigator, ran for a seat on the superior court bench in 2004 and lost to San Jose Independent Police Auditor Teresa Guerrero-Daley. Monahan, who has been a pro tem for a decade, said he’s eager to campaign for a full judgeship again. “I just know it’s the right thing for me to be doing,” he said.

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