St. Petersburg Times
Campaign & Electio Covewrage 2002
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Hillsborough County Circuit Judges: Seats go to Cook, Sierra

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 6, 2002

TAMPA -- Monica Sierra will become the youngest judge on the Hillsborough circuit bench, decisively beating opponent Woody Isom Tuesday in the race for the Group 37 seat.

And in the race for the Group 30 circuit seat, veteran civil attorney Martha Cook beat opponent Ken Whalen by a healthy margin.

Sierra, 36, who won the endorsement of local police and firefighters' associations, said she and her supporters visited 31,000 households across Hillsborough during the campaign.

"I'm just very grateful and very humble," Sierra said Tuesday night.

Sierra, a Tampa native who attended Nova University School of Law, has worked in private practice with her father since 1993. She has experience in real estate, business, probate and guardianship law. She ran a real estate development company and worked as an assistant in the Florida House of Representatives.

In the campaign, Sierra's opponent, 58-year-old Isom, stressed the disparity in experience between them. Isom has 27 years as a civil trial lawyer and has worked as a "special master" resolving evidence disputes in circuit court.

"Of course I'm disappointed," said Isom, who is married to Hillsborough Circuit Judge Claudia Isom.

In the Group 30 contest, Cook and her defeated opponent Whalen agreed it had been a cordial race.

"I've learned a great deal about campaigning," said Cook, 53. "I have great respect for anyone who puts themselves through this."

Cook received a law degree from the University of Florida. She began her legal career as an assistant attorney general with the Florida Department of Legal Affairs and as a special assistant attorney general with the Florida Department of Revenue. She has worked at Cook & MacDonald Mediation Group since 1994.

"I had a great team behind me that worked very hard," she said.

Back to Election 2002

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  • This election proves mostly smooth sailing
  • For McBride faithful, his loss cuts deep
  • Adam Smith: Victory for Bush, but with a hitch

  • U.S. Congress
  • 5th Dist.: Brown-Waite ousts Rep. Thurman
  • 9th Dist.: Bilirakis extends his winning streak
  • GOP icon Harris beats ex-Clinton aide

  • State House
  • Dist. 46: Fiorentino wins decidedly
  • State House results

  • State Senate
  • Dist. 3: Argenziano nabs seat from incumbent Mitchell
  • Dist. 11: Fasano trounces ex-Pasco sheriff
  • Dist. 13: Jones is headed back to capital
  • Dist. 16: Sebesta easily wins second term
  • Butterworth Senate bid falls short

  • Citrus
  • County Commission: Fowler wins, says he learned lessons; Bartell prevails
  • County Mosquito Control Board: Incumbent Buzby, 2 newcomers win seats
  • City of Crystal River: Mayor keeps post; Taylor loses seat; Holmes defeats 2
  • Glitches are rare as voters fill polls

  • Hernando
  • Election smooth and easy
  • School Board: Wiggins beats Galaydick to keep seat on board
  • County Commission: Schenck stuns Kingsley; Robinson re-elected
  • City of Brooksville: Wever holds off Burnett to keep seat
  • Spring Hill Fire and Rescue: Fire district to remain under county control

  • Hillsborough
  • County Commission: Castor pulls ahead of Hart
  • County School Board: Bricklemyer, Faliero win runoff
  • Temple Terrace City Council: One incumbent and two newcomers win seats
  • Auditor referendum headed toward win
  • Iorio: 'Smoothest election' ever

  • Pasco
  • County Commission: Mulieri coasts to victory over Cox
  • Big turnout, quick turnaround
  • Dade City charter change rolls toward passage

  • Pinellas
  • School Board: Brown's win a Pinellas first
  • County Commission: Morroni captures second term
  • Pinellas referendum results
  • East Lake Special Fire Control Dist. New election, same result: Bobel wins fire board seat
  • Palm Harbor Fire Rescue: Newcomer tops board chief
  • A new School Board era begins
  • Technological glitch taints Pinellas' smooth election
  • Beach Communities decide on compensation, spending policy
  • Treasure Island: Yes means no; what now?
  • New faces are voted into Pinellas Suncoast Fire District

  • Judiciary
  • Circuit 6, Group 26 Judge: Babb cruises to victory in judge race
  • Hillsborough County Circuit Judges: Seats go to Cook, Sierra
  • Florida Supreme Court: 2 justices headed for retention
  • Judiciary: Six judges retain their seats

  • Nation
  • Bucking history, Republicans hold their own
  • Democrats gain in governorships
  • Voter News Service abandons exit poll plans
  • Without consortium, TV cautious
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  • Control of Senate remains undecided
  • Computer problems mar vote in Ga., Texas
  • 50 States: Election results
  • Election notebook
  • Back to Top
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