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Charles Calderon running for judge in Los Angeles

By on February 7, 2014
Charles Calderon

Charles Calderon, a former prosecutor and majority leader of both houses of the California State Legislature, has filed paperwork to run for Los Angeles Superior Court judge in the June 2014 election, has confirmed.

Supporters say that Calderon’s career makes him eminently qualified for a spot on the bench.

“I’ve known Chuck for more than thirty years, and I think he will make an excellent judge,” said Judge Michael Vicencia, past president of the California Judges Association. “In the legislature, he has been a real leader on judicial branch issues. I am endorsing him because he has common sense and the right temperament for the bench.”

Judges, Legislative Leaders Back Campaign

The only legislator to serve as majority leader in both houses, Calderon has already secured major endorsements from Assembly Speaker John Perez and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a former Attorney General, as well earned support from dozens of state legislators and judges.

“He is intelligent, quick witted, fair, objective and uniquely patient,” said Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton. “He will make a fine judge.”

Well-known for his time in the state legislature, Calderon began his career as a Los Angeles deputy city attorney. He prosecuted 90 jury trials to verdict in the criminal division, before becoming general counsel to the Public Works Commission. And it’s that time at the city that helped him secure one judge’s support.

“I have known Charles Calderon over thirty years,” said Judge Susan Lopez Giss, a board member of the Alliance of California Judges, who worked with Calderon in the city attorney’s office. “He has committed his life to public service and a judgeship would afford the citizens of Los Angeles County with the wealth of his experience as an attorney and a legislator.”

Following his tenure with the city, he became a partner and civil litigator with Burke Williams and Sorensen, where he successfully represented a group of parents in a major school desegregation case against the Centinella Valley Union High School District. In 1982, while a member of the Montebello School Board, Calderon was elected to the State Assembly.

During his 23 years of service in both houses of the legislature, Calderon established a reputation as an expert on the administration of justice. He chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and served as a member of the Judicial Council, the policy making body of the courts. In 2011, following a “blistering audit” of the court’s case management system by the State Auditor, Calderon drafted legislation, backed by the Alliance of California Judges, to decentralize the court system. Recently, he was appointed to the California Commission on Access to Justice.

“In the legislature, he has been a real leader on judicial branch issues,” said Judge Vicencia. “I am endorsing him because he has common sense and the right temperament for the bench. I expect many of my colleagues will do the same.”

Calderons are all different

Calderon’s campaign for a seat on the bench comes as his brother Ron, a State Senator, faces an ongoing federal investigation into corruption at the State Capitol. Ron Calderon has not been charged in the case. The Assistant U.S. Attorney has confirmed in a letter that Charles Calderon is not a target of the investigation.

“There is no escaping the fact that my last name is Calderon but we are all different individuals,” Charles Calderon said. “Most people who know us understand this. What is clear is that the federal inquiry has nothing to do with me.”

It’s his reputation as an honest broker and accomplished leader that has many backing his judicial campaign, despite the ongoing case involving his brother.

“Anyone who knows the Calderons know they are all different,” said Hall, who chairs the Assembly’s Government Organization Committee. “I have great respect for Chuck as a professional and as a person.”



About John Hrabe

John Hrabe spends his time traveling the world as a freelance journalist. When he isn’t on an international flight, John writes about state and national politics for,, Huffington Post and the editorial pages of the Orange County Register. John’s most recent high-profile investigation uncovered the questionable labor practices of Goodwill Industries, the nonprofit organization famous for its secondhand clothing stores.


  1. Jaime Huff

    February 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Chuck Calderon is a statesman – a class act. We miss his leadership in Sacramento, but if we can’t have him here I am so pleased to know that he will continue his career of public service from the bench. I wholeheartedly endorse and support Chuck Calderon!

  2. Paula Treat

    February 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Chuck and his wife Lisa are two if the finest people I know. He will make a great member of the Judicial branch, as he has been a true public servant for many years.

  3. James S. Mulholland, Esq.

    February 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I’ve know Chuck Calderon for over 30 years, as an excellent attorney, Education Board Member, Deputy City Attorney, Assembly Majority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, and walked many a mile for him in his campaigns. He is not afraid to take on the tough issues and win for the “good side”. I know Chuck well and know he will be a fair and excellent addition to the Los Angeles Superior Court!

  4. franck verhaeghe

    February 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve know Chuck for a few years now. His passion for people’s well-being makes him stand apart from some politicians we know.
    His stands on tough issues and his devotion to what’s right makes him a wonderful candidate as an addition to the LA superior court.

  5. Tom MacBride

    February 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I have known Chuck since the mid-70s. During the 80s and 90s, Chuck and I worked together on myriad successful legislation to expand access to the decision-making process at state Public Utilities Commission and provide for meaningful judicial review of that agency.

    I and cannot recommend him more highly to the voters of Los Angeles County. My father was a John Kennedy appointee to the Federal Court in the 60s and served for almost 40 years. By observing him and many of his colleagues, I came to realized that a judge’s approach to life off the bench was a pretty good predictor of what parties before him or her could expect in court. By that measure, those appearing before Chuck could expect someone who would not only be fair in applying the law but who would go to every possible effort to be sure he completely understood their position and perspective. Those who leave his courtroom disappointed, will not also leave feeling disregarded, disrespected or diminished.

  6. Paul Shay

    February 12, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Californians should be so fortunate to have a man of such integrity and fairness on our bench.

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