The race for an open Santa Clara, Calif., County judicial seat pits campaign newcomer Deputy District Attorney Dolores Carr against attorney Douglas Allen, who has already made two unsuccessful bids for the bench.

But the third go-around may not be as charming as Allen might like. Despite Carr’s admitted lack of expertise in civil matters, she is hardly a neophyte when it comes to waging a battle. The two are vying for a superior court position that’s being vacated by retiring Judge Robert Ahern.