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Group 9 Palm Beach County Court Candidates: Paul Damico And Karen Velez

Karen Velez

Judge Paul Damico, the incumbent, was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in 2001 to the County Court, Group 9 Palm Beach County seat where the election is being held. Since then, he has run uncontested in every election. Karen Velez, nevertheless, confronted him this time. Karen Velez, Damico’s opponent, has worked for the public defender’s office for 12 years before starting her own law practice in Boca Raton. Damico draws attention to one area in which the candidates vary.

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Let’s Know More About The Candidates And Their Political Journeys:

Paul Damico Political Party:

Damico was a public defender’s assistant. He stated he wanted to comprehend all sides of the criminal justice system because he planned to become a judge one day. However, he spent five years advocating for folks who lack the financial means to employ a defense attorney after leaving the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office after ten years. He cited his time working for the county’s public defender’s office as some of the most satisfying of his professional life.

He stated, “It was terrific being a prosecutor and getting those who had done wrong off the streets. But it was fantastic to hear someone you thought innocent declared innocent by a jury of their peers.” His time working for the Public Defender’s Office also marked the beginning of one of his career’s most challenging periods. In 2000, Damico and another senior assistant claimed that Richard Jorandby, who was then the public defender, had threatened to dismiss them unless they each gave $10,000 to his reelection campaign.

Karen Velez Political Party:

Velez, a patriotic “Nuyorican” who was born in New York but spent a lot of her upbringing in Puerto Rico with family, was able to assist clients because of her proficiency in Spanish. She chosen to serve as what the agency referred to as a “Spanish floater,” defending Hispanics accused of a wide range of offenses. It truly improved me as a lawyer, she claimed. “I handled everything, from misdemeanors to homicide, so it kept me on my toes. For several years, I would represent a client if they spoke Spanish.

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She said that being a Hispanic woman will benefit her as a judge. The county’s Latino population has increased significantly recently, but the judiciary does not reflect the region’s shifting racial and ethnic composition. Although others have been appointed, Velez would be the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the county bench if she were to be successful. Only two of the current judges are Hispanic, Circuit Judges Daliah Weiss and Luis Delgado.