Mudslinging in the Family Court Judge Race

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

Pete Sferrazza and Chuck Weller have now been campaigning for months for a seat on the Family Court Judge bench. In the last week, the race has reached a fever pitch as their ads have gotten more negative--both say in reaction to the other--ultimately prompting each to file complaints.

"I think I had a strong campaign. The polling had shown I had closed the gap and moved ahead and I think that's why he went negative," says Sferrazza.

What prompted Sferrazza to file a complaint on Sunday, was Weller's TV ad saying that Sferrazza is not a real judge. "The fact is, tribal judges do handle family law. And his accusation that I haven't appeared in family court is not in fact true."

But Weller defends his statement: "He claims he has 10 years of judicial experience. In fact, what he's been is a part time judge."

Weller filed his complaint on Saturday, primarily for what he says was Sferrazza's distortion of a Federal Trade Commission incident. He recently depicted the case in a TV ad and in mailers.

"The truth is, I have not been accused of any crime. I have never been accused of any crime. The incident he refers to was 25 years ago and he is distorting the truth to try to save a failing campaign," says Weller.

The accusations and complaints have turned into classic examples of last minute campaign mud-slinging. With such a close race, it's hard to estimate the effect on the voter.

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