Article by Dave Berman with Florida Today

The North Brevard Democrats Club wanted to host a forum for candidates for Circuit Court judge, but had to get creative as a precaution to help guard against the spread of the coronavirus.

So it is holding the forum outdoors in a Titusville park, and is encouraging people to watch the event on Facebook or YouTube, rather than showing up in person.

The judicial forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Valicenti Pavilion at Sand Point Park, just north of downtown Titusville.

It will be simulcast on the Facebook page of the North Brevard Democratic Club and and on the YouTube channel of The Talk of Titusville.

The 18th Circuit includes Brevard and Seminole counties. All registered voters in those two counties will be eligible to vote in those four contested elections, which are held on primary day, Aug. 18.

North Brevard Democratic Club President Catherine Riley said she expects all eight candidates for four contested races for circuit judge in 18th Judicial Circuit to attend.
Riley said the event will be a socially distanced gathering, with face masks required and attendees sitting 6 feet apart from each other. 
Judicial races are nonpartisan elections.

These are the contested Circuit Court races:

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  • Incumbent Tesha Scolaro Ballou vs. A. Michael Bross in Group 15.
  • Steve Henderson vs. Michael Peacock in Group 18. Incumbent Circuit Judge Charles Roberts is not seeking reelection.
  • Donna Goerner vs. Marc Jones in Group 21. Incumbent Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester is not seeking reelection.
  • Sam Bookhardt vs. Oscar Hotusing in Group 25. Incumbent Circuit Judge George Turner is not seeking reelection.

Circuit Court judges are based in one of the two counties that make up the 18th Circuit, but are elected by voters in both counties.

There are 16 Brevard-based and 10 Seminole-based circuit judge seats in the circuit.
Among the contested races election, the Brevard-based seats are Groups 15, 18 and 25. The Seminole-based seat is Group 21.

Circuit Court judges serve six-year terms and are paid $160,688 a year.  

In Florida, Circuit Court judges are trial judges.

Circuit Court judges deal with criminal felonies, domestic relations, probate matters and civil cases in which the amount in dispute is greater than $30,000.

Each candidate at the forum will be given 3 minutes to make a presentation to the audience. They then will be asked questions.

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