By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
Published October 25, 2006
Experience is the key word for both candidates vying for Pasco County's Group 7 judgeship.
It's what qualifies them to be judges, they say, and also what sets them apart from the competition.
Longtime attorney Frank Grey II has been selling voters on his 21 years of experience in the civil arena. The Stetson University law grad has worked in several private firms in west Pasco specializing in contracts, probate and real estate law. Two years ago he formed his latest firm, Davis, Marlowe and Grey II. "I think I have the legal skills and the experience as well as the life experiences to be a good judge," said Grey, 51.
He's also a scion of one of Pasco's most prominent families. His grandfather started the family real estate business in the 1920s, and today the firm, known as Coldwell Banker F.I. Grey & Sons, is run by the candidate's brothers, John and Chuck Grey.
And Frank Grey II has had some prominent law partners, too: Appellate Judge Craig Villanti, a former Pasco circuit judge, and former county lobbyist Clyde Hobby.
County court is where citizens most often represent themselves in court. Grey said that's what people have done before him in his 12 years as a special master, and that those years of experience will serve him well as a county judge.
"You're hearing from people, allowing them to try and make their points, helping them to understand what the law is," he said.
Defense attorney Candy VanDercar's first career was as a psychologist. But she wants voters to consider the intense experience she's gained in her second career as a criminal trial attorney.
"What I've said from the very beginning is that I'm the candidate that has the experience for this judge(ship)," said VanDercar, 58.
As a psychologist, she once ran her own practice and worked for school systems in Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties.
Then it was back to school - Stetson University College of Law, that is - and in 1999 she graduated and started work at the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender's Office.
In 2004 she started her own legal practice. This is her second run for public office. The first was in 1994, when she lost a bid for the Florida House.
VanDercar said her seven years as a lawyer have been spent mostly in the courtroom, getting trial experience representing criminal defendants. She tells voters that invaluable experience has prepared her for one of a county judge's most important tasks.
"That represents a substantial amount of what happens in county court," she said. "I mean those county court judges, every other week is trial week. They may easily have 30 cases on the docket that are set for trial."
Frank Grey II
Grey, 51, was born and raised in Pasco County. He graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1982 and from Stetson University College of Law in 1985. He has been in private practice in a variety of west Pasco firms, working on contracts, probate, property issues and civil litigation. In 2004 he formed the law firm of Davis, Marlowe and Grey II. He is married with three children. Assets: Home, investments, bank accounts. Liabilities: Bank loans. Source of income: Job.
VanDercar, 58, of Wesley Chapel, was born in Chicago. She obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1975 and 1977. She was a school psychologist for the Hillsborough County School District from 1977 to 1983 and for the Miami-Dade School System from 1989 to 1992, and also had her own practice. She went back to school and graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1999. She worked for the Public Defender's Office from 1999 to 2004 and has done private criminal defense since. She is married and has an adult daughter. Assets: Home, land, bank accounts, investments. Liabilities: Mortgage, car loans, school loans, business loan. Source of income: Job. Web site: candyforjudge.com.
[Last modified November 3, 2006, 15:14:33]
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