For many OC residents, a June primary feels a lot like a high school final exam – one that you’re not prepared for and is quickly approaching. 

And on exam day, the only information available is coming directly from campaigns, in terms of attack mail, or in the cases of judges, not at all. 

As always, Voice of OC has your back.

Our County Reporter, Nick Gerda led efforts to craft a unique tip sheet for the toughest local election races for locals to figure out – Judges, DA, County Supervisors, Education Board and County Superintendent of Schools

While state and national races typically get more press coverage, it’s the most local seats that go unnoticed.

We’ve also noticed that often times, campaign coverage can skew toward the horse race aspects of these elections – such as fundraising tallies and political endorsements.

We often times don’t hear that much from the candidates themselves.

This year, we worked to add something different to our campaign coverage. 

Candidates…In their own words. 

But right next to each other.

All in one easy-to-use story that residents can use to inform their voting decisions.

Candidates don’t pay to get on this list. They don’t get to choose the questions. And they can’t shade their answers.

On this stage, everyone stands next to each other.

Our hope is that residents get a chance to think deeply about the local offices up for election and the people trying to fill those slots and work on behalf of taxpayers. 

Today, we are publishing answers for two separate races, OC Superior Court Judges and District Attorney.

This primary season features a rare chance to look at the local judges who impact quality of life in myriad ways by making calls on a host of complex civil and criminal proceedings. 

In all, there’s two dozen candidates running for nine open seats on the OC Superior Court. 

And virtually no way to figure out who’s who or what they stand for.

We came up with two quick questions for people running for judge and listed candidate answers here.

We also put ten straightforward questions to DA Todd Spitzer and four attorneys running to replace him and listed their answers here.

On Thursday, we’ll shift gears and publish answers to questions from candidates running for County Supervisor, OC Board of Education and county superintendent of schools.

On Friday, we’ll publish election race recaps that will also allow voters to track these local elections through a collection of existing coverage on the races. 

And on Tuesday night, check back with us in real time as we’ll be reporting out tabulations soon after the first results go live – expected at 8:05 p.m.

As always, we’ll be staying up late until the last ballots of Election Night are tallied up. 

Then, on Wednesday morning, we’ll gear back up and start to describe what the county’s new governing face looks like along with what races are headed to November. 

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