A recently appointed district judge faces a former county and North Las Vegas prosecutor in the race for the Department 14 District Court judgeship.
Judge Adriana Escobar, who was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to replace retired Judge Donald Mosley in June, faces Michael Davidson, a partner with the firm Kolesar & Leatham.
Escobar, who was born in Columbia, is campaigning to retain the judgeship she was appointed to several months ago.
After graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she worked as a drug and alcohol counselor before going on to fulfill a childhood dream of attending law school.
She said since the age of 12 she's wanted to be a judge. "I wanted to be a judge before I wanted to be a lawyer. I didn't even know you had to be a lawyer to be a judge. Remember, I was 12," Escobar quipped.
Escobar, a graduate of the California Western School of Law, has practiced law for 21 years, working as a San Diego city prosecutor, a Nevada chief deputy attorney general and a private attorney.
Prior to being appointed to her judgeship, Escobar served on the Taxi Cab Authority, as a public utilities commissioner and as chairman of the board for Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center.
Most recently, Escobar was the state's consumer advocate and led the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Escobar remains humble about her ascent. "I'm really not a politician. I love the law. I hope to make a good name for my profession," she said.
Escobar said her wide-ranging experience in different areas of law have helped her settle into her new role as a judge.
Aside from being prepared and being fair, Escobar said it's most important to her to treat everyone who walks into her courtroom with respect.
"It's such an honor; such an important responsibility" to be a judge, she said. "I'm very proud, very honored and committed to being a judge. I hope to be on the bench for many years."
Escobar faces veteran lawyer and frequent judicial candidate Michael Davidson, a graduate of the University of Arizona law school.
Davidson has years of experience working in a judicial capacity, including as a small claims referee, juvenile court hearing master, and a Nevada Supreme Court settlement conference judge. During his time with the Clark County district attorney's office he was the assistant district attorney in charge of the civil and family divisions.
In 2010 he lost an electoral contest for the Department 30 judgeship. Since then, as district judges have resigned or retired, Davidson has applied for those positions, but has not been selected.
Earlier this year he applied twice to replace retired judges Mosley and Kathy Hardcastle. After Escobar and Judge Kerry Louis Earley were appointed by the governor to fill those spots, Davidson entered the race to face Escobar.
"This election is whether the people want me in that seat or her in that seat," Davidson said.
He said voters should consider him because of "the combination of my experience in all areas of the law. It gives me the mature judgment best suited for making the difficult decisions a District Court judge has to make," Davidson said.
Davidson wants to return to public service, although it will mean a pay cut.
"I've been a lawyer here for 33 years now and in a very real sense I've been training for that job for a very long time. The best way for me to give back is to offer my service in a way to benefit the most number of people and that's on the bench," he said.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.