Here comes the judge-judge?

There’s a hot primary race for a local judgeship in my community right now.  Five lawyers are seeking a six-year term on the district court bench. The field will be winnowed to two in the August 3 primary. Yard signs for all of them are sprouting around town faster than the sweet corn outside it, and I’m relishing the signs for one in particular: Jennifer Tang-Anderson. Why? Her hyphenated last name. I can’t recall ever seeing one on a campaign yard sign before, and I’ve lived her for 13 years.

This is not an endorsement. I don’t know this candidate (don’t know much about of them, in fact, one of the reasons I object to voting for judges.) The other is the absurdity, even in nonpartisan races, of trying to persuading people to vote you into a position where you’re then supposed to be impartial is. But I digress.

I love seeing the Tang-Anderson signs because they expose this conservative area to a hyphenated name and the notion that a married woman might not automatically take her husband’s name. When I got married here seven years ago and informed the priest I was keeping my name, I became a figurative Gloria Steinem. A hyphenated name ranks a few rungs down the liberal feminist ladder, but it’s still enough to raise eyebrows.

So, thanks for throwing your hat in the ring, Jennifer Tang-Anderson. If you don’t make it through the primary your signs will be short-lived. But even if you never get to lift that gavel next to your name, I think you’ve already made an impact.

PS – There’s a candidate’s forum at 7 p.m. tomorrow night, 7/15, at the Traverse Area District Library.

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