Los Angeles County Superior Court
Primary Election | March 5, 2024

In even–numbered years, voters may have the opportunity to vote on judges of the Superior Courts, also known as a county’s Trial Courts. While the current landscape demonstrates to us that Courts at all levels have material impacts on our lives, Judges of the Superior Court rule in both criminal and civil cases on issues that range from traffic violations to dependency cases to small claims to divorce, among many others. This means that our communities are most likely to encounter and engage with judges at this level and they therefore determine whether we have to pay that hefty fine for the traffic citation, whether a child is removed from their family’s home, or the terms of your divorce and so on. Accordingly, who occupies these seats is critically important to the lives of our community.

For the March 5th Primary Election, voters registered in Los Angeles County are being asked to select Superior Court judges in 10 races; this guide outlines Black Women for Wellness Action Project’s pick for each of them. While the races that we cover in this guide are limited in scope, we also offer some tips on how to assess judicial candidates for yourself whether you vote in L.A. or a different county.

Black Women for Wellness Action Project (BWWAP)  recommends the candidates listed below for the L.A. County Superior Court.

Our recommendations highlight candidates with track records, reputations, and stated judicial philosophies that align with Reproductive Justice (RJ) values and work to address, disrupt, and dismantle the related issues that adversely impact the health and well-being of our community. We expect that these candidates’ expansive understanding of justice will help to protect against the assaults on the dignity of our community and better protect our rights. 

Office #12 | Rhonda Haymon

A member of the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office for over 20 years, Haymon’s platform highlights her commitment to racial equity, addressing systemic failures for marginalized communities, working to reduce recidivism, and advocating for diversion and rehabilitative services. She is an adjunct law professor, mentor to new attorneys, and would bring representative leadership to the bench. Haymon is challenging the incumbent, Hon. Lynn Dianne Olson, who won this seat as a challenger in 2006 despite not being in consistent law practice in the years before her election. 

Office #39 | George A. Turner, Jr.

Turner, a lifelong resident of Inglewood, has spent more than 15 years as a Los Angeles County Public Defender. His advocacy for racial justice and representation began during law school, and has been a common thread in the legal work he’s done throughout his career. He currently supervises his office’s Mobile Homelessness Unit, has long supported initiatives to defend marginalized and indigent communities, and is committed to increasing alternatives to incarceration. Turner is part of The Defenders of Justice slate, and his endorsements include California Progressive Alliance, LA Forward, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Office #48 | Ericka J. Wiley

Wiley was admitted to the California Bar over 25 years ago, and has spent all of her career as a Los Angeles County Public Defender. Through her work on juvenile, housing, and misdemeanor trials, she has seen the disproportionate impacts of the legal system on marginalized and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. She has been a committed advocate of record expungement, diversion programs, fair sentencing, and disrupting policies that lead to mass incarceration. Wiley serves as a Deputy In Charge, providing supervision and mentorship to other Public Defenders, and is involved in the leadership of the office’s efforts to support unhoused members of the community. Wiley is part of The Defenders of Justice slate, and her endorsements include California Progressive Alliance, The National Women’s Political Caucus, current LA Superior Court Judge Holly Hancock and trusted Community Activist and Advocate, Jasmyne Cannick. Additionally, she has earned the influential endorsement of the L.A. Times. 

Office #93 | No Recommendation

Please note that two candidates have qualified for this race –– Victor Avila and Natasha Khamashta. While Victor Avila is the only candidate who appears on the ballot in this race, he does have a challenger. Deputy Public Defender Natasha Khamashta qualified to run as a write-in candidate. Voters are encouraged to do their own research ( and put some of our tips into action) to determine which of these candidates best aligns to their values. There is no LACBA rating for this race, because Avila was running unopposed at the time that the ratings process took place. 

Office #97 | La Shae Henderson

During her 18 years in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, Henderson specialized in juvenile justice cases, and was a proponent of restorative sentencing practices and efforts to create community programs that disrupt the root causes of crime. In 2020, California passed the landmark Racial Justice Act, which prohibited racial, ethnic, or origin bias in the charging, convicting, and sentencing of crimes. As a member of the Civil Contempt and Racial Justice Unit, Henderson became a leading collaborator in the state to support attorneys and organizations in ensuring that the Racial Justice Act was adequately implemented in the courts. She currently works in private practice. Henderson is part of The Defenders of Justice slate, and her endorsements include Ground Game LA, LA DEFENSA, current LA Superior Court Judge Holly Hancock, and trusted Community Activist and Advocate, Jasmyne Cannick.

Office #115 | Christmas Brookens

Brookens has been a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney for nearly 20 years, where she has prosecuted juvenile, sex crime, child abuse, and murder cases. She serves as a supervisor and trainer on policy and procedure for fellow attorneys. Brookens has the endorsement of Black Los Angeles Young Democrats, National Women’s Political Caucus, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. She is running against Keith Koyano, who has received endorsements from problematic stakeholders, including Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, Santa Monica Police Officer’s Association, and Gardena Police Officers’ Association. Additionally, she has earned the influential endorsement of the L.A. Times. 

Office #124 | Kimberly Repecka

Early in her legal career, Repecka spent five years working in family law at the Children’s Law Center of California and Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, where she represented both children in the foster care system and parents and guardians. This experience, paired with her current work as a Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender, has motivated her continued focus on family reunification, reducing bias, and establishing systemic fairness. For over a decade, Repecka has also served as a supervising attorney for A New Way of Life Reentry Project, and has been vocal about the importance of creating tailored programs that reduce mass incarceration, and redirect public dollars to rehabilitative services. Repecka has the endorsement of LA DEFENSA, LA progressive, LA Forward, and National Women’s Political Caucus. She is challenging the incumbent, Hon. Emily Spear, who was publicly admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance in September 2023 for a pattern of disrespectful behavior and unexcused absences while she was working in the Family Law Division. 

Office #130 | Leslie Gutierrez

For over ten years, Gutierrez has served as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney prosecuting cases of child abuse, sex crimes, and family violence. Prior to starting her prosecutorial work, she spent a year as a criminal defense attorney and completed a law school externship with a public defender’s office. With these varied experiences on her resume, Gutierrez has put forward a judicial platform that centers integrity, justice, and balance. We should note that while her 2022 campaign included several police endorsements, this is not the case for her 2024 bid and she has instead garnered the backing of more progressive organizations, including National Women’s Political Caucus, East Area Progressive Democrats, and Los Angeles County Democratic Party. She has also earned the support of trusted Community Activist and Advocate, Jasmyne Cannick. Additionally, she has earned the influential endorsement of the L.A. Times.  

Office #135 | Georgia Huerta

A member of the California Bar for over 35 years, Huerta is the most experienced candidate in this race. She currently serves as a Deputy District Attorney, where she works on misdemeanor, and criminal cases. She has also served as the head of the Alternative Sentencing and Collaborative Courthouse, which provides alternatives to incarceration that include mental health and addiction support, and rehabilitative services.  She is a longtime youth volunteer with Project LEAD, which educates local elementary students about the judicial system. Huerta has the endorsement of Los Angeles African American Women PAC (LAAAWPAC), trusted Community Activist and Advocate, Jasmyne Cannick,  East Area Progressive Democrats, National Women’s Political Caucus, and LA Progressive. 

Office #137 | Tracey Blount

Blount has been a working attorney for over 20 years, and spent time with the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office before joining the Los Angeles Office of the County Counsel. During her time with the county, she has predominantly worked in dependency law, taking on cases related to child abuse, neglect, family law, and guardianship. Blount has built a strong reputation as a fair, hard working and persuasive lawyer, and has a deep understanding of the county’s social service system and the ways that it can impact children and families. Blount has the endorsement of Los Angeles African American Women PAC (LAAAWPAC), New Frontier Democratic Club, and Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Additionally, she has earned the influential endorsement of the L.A. Times.

Defenders of Justice Slate

Launched in 2022 by La Defensa, Ground Game LA, and judicial accountability organizers, the Defenders of Justice slate is comprised of progressive candidates who will work to transform and revolutionize the LA County Courts. We are thrilled to amplify these recommended candidates who make up this Defenders of Justice slate. 

Ericka Wiley for Office #48
George Turner for Office #39
La Shae Henderson for Office #97

About L.A. Superior Court

Judges of the Los Angeles County Superior Court hear all civil and criminal cases across the legal spectrum, including family law, dependency, probate, mental health, traffic, misdemeanors, juvenile delinquency, small claims, and felonies. Judges are assigned to a particular department by the Court’s Presiding Judge, and hear cases in their departmental practice area.  The Court runs several innovative programs designed to provide rehabilitative, collaborative, and restorative justice to qualified defendants, including Veterans’ Court, Drug Court, and Homeless Court. The Los Angeles County Superior Court is the nation’s largest trial court, includes over 400 judges, and serves a population of over 10 million people.

Election & Term Information

Judges of the Superior Court are elected to six-year terms in non-partisan races, so you will not find any information about whether they are running as a Democrat or Republican candidate –– it’s not allowed! Qualified candidates for Superior Court must be an attorney admitted to the California Bar or a judge of a court of record in California for at least 10 years immediately preceding their election or appointment. Although many are initially appointed to their seat by the Governor when there is a mid-term vacancy (for ex. death or retirement), voters have the opportunity to vote on trial court judges when a candidate challenges a sitting judge or when an incumbent announces their intent to vacate a seat a few months before an election. Judges who are running unopposed do not appear on the ballot, and are automatically declared the winner after the primary election. Judges running in a contested race must win the majority (over 50%) of the vote in the primary to win outright. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two candidates advance to the general election ballot. 


As a voter, we want you to feel empowered when you cast your vote and welcome you to do your own research to ensure that each candidate you vote for aligns with your values. While we know that candidates who qualify for appointment or the ballot must meet minimum requirements, that does not give us enough information about how they might rule from the bench. We have to dig deeper in order to make the most well informed decision that we can. Here are some things to consider as you evaluate the judicial candidates on your ballot:

Who rocks with them?
Look at the organizations, community members, and others whose views and values you respect and align with who have given their endorsement. Are they endorsed by the Police? A mission driven organization that fights for causes that you stand for? A news outlet that you respect and rely on for sound information? 

Who have they served?
Understand which communities and stakeholders have benefitted from their legal work. This can give us insights about their mission, passions and philosophy, which will be reflected in how they rule from the bench.

What do they have to offer?
Consider the diverse perspective they will bring to the bench.  

What are their peers saying?
There can be some good tea here. Check the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) ratings.

You will see that most candidates receive a qualification rating from LACBA, which is the main professional organization for L.A.’s legal community. These ratings are an important resource that looks at more than bar admission and years of service. However, it is important to note that while the evaluation committee uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative data to aid their ratings, there is critique of the lack of transparency around their deliberations, especially when assignment of these ratings is based on several stated metrics that include integrity, competence, and professional ability, to name a few. There certainly can be limitations in the way that those measures are applied to candidates across a diversity of professional backgrounds, lived experiences, education, and circumstances that may result in lower ratings to nontraditional candidates.

What are they saying about themselves?
Check the candidate’s website – a great place to start and most times, a great source of information, actually. You will learn more about the candidates, their platforms, and generally whether their campaign is a serious one.