In her six years on the bench, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Diane Ritchie has become legend for all the wrong reasons. Her inappropriately casual conduct in court, her incompetence in dealing with even low-level cases and off-the-mark legal interpretations have earned her scrutiny from peers and the press alike.
“It’s a super-hard job for everyone,” she told us in an interview.
Perhaps, then, it’s time for her to find a new one.
Fortunately for voters, Ritchie’s storied unprofessionalism prompted some better-qualified candidates to step up, marking the first time in 16 years a local judge has been challenged for re-election. Running against her are 21-year criminal defense attorney Annrae Angel and 23-year prosecutor Matt Harris.
Harris is a veteran of the District Attorney’s Office who has secured endorsements from the Santa Clara County Bar Association, local law enforcement, elected officials and even some of Ritchie’s peers. He’s also spent some of his career in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and possesses the experience and confidence the incumbent lacks.