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OPINION: KEEP JUDGE KRAYNICK

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By JON WARNER

 

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," the old adage says. That goes for elected officials, too. We looked up and down the profile of Judge Mike Kraynick to find even the slightest crack in his armor - and we came up short. But despite his stellar record and impressive legal career, Amrita Singh - daughter of Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh - doesn't think he deserves to be re-elected. Why? Well, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel, she won't go into any specifics but simply feels that "the same old attitudes and approaches won’t solve our current problems, and I hope to bring a fresh perspective in my role as circuit judge."

The same old attitudes? What on Earth is she trying to say? We attempted to contact Ms. Singh to ask her what she means by that phrase to no avail. We think the attitude of the seat's current occupant is just fine, actually we don't care at all how he feels about the law whatsoever. The enforcement of the law, and the application of the law as originally understood, is the job of the judge. Ms. Singh's comments seem to antagonize the very foundations of our great Anglo-American legal tradition built upon a judicial system placing interpretation above legislation. Ms. Singh's comments appear to insinuate support for judicial activism.

Fundamentally, the issue of judicial activism comes down to a question of integrity. Every office-holder must at all times live up to their oath to fulfill this sacred duty, which includes an allegiance to both the United States Constitution and the Florida State Constitution. Nowhere in either Florida's Constitution or the United States Constitution do the documents grant the courts powers to legislate from the bench or to implement social reforms based on political "attitudes" the Judge might hold.

While we aren't questioning Ms. Singh's character, we do acknowledge her words speak for themselves. Any Judge (or potential Judge) elevating their personal attitudes above the law supplants not only the intent of the legislators who drafted the text but moreover compromises justice.

More concerning details about Ms. Singh arise from her father's history of troubling scandalous allegations: "like father, like daughter," some say. And if that's true, we should all be concerned about how much she learned from his allegedly graft-fueled lifestyle. Though recently cleared by Florida authorities of criminal wrongdoing, a complaint recently alleged that Rick Singh jet-setted to Spain and India on the wings of taxpayer dollars for personal trips. But, according to the complaint, his binge didn't end there. Rick Singh allegedly hosted strippers in his office and staged a photoshop photoshoot to disguise personal trips as part of his official government business. The laundry list of accusations are so long, we can't list them all. (You will find a comprehensive tally here). The Florida Public Corruption Task Force recently pointed out Singh's checkered history as well in a mail piece sent to voters a short time ago.

Surely, we are not suggesting for Ms. Singh to be judged guilty by association. However, we do ask that she disavow the errant actions of her father, should he ever be indicted on new charges in the future.

But what of her opponent? As far as Judge Mike Kraynick is concerned, his impeccable record speaks volumes about his legal sense and skill at interpreting the law. His dedication to his faith and his family conveys an aura of honor and respect. After graduating form Barry University School of Law, Kraynick worked his way up the legal ladder from a humble law clerk to eventually practice as a partner at a local law firm in Winter Park. A family man an father of two, Judge Kraynick knows the importance of service and dedication to justice. While practicing law, he encountered a vast array of clients and engaged in a wide variety practice areas, including as counsel for individuals, consumers, homeowners, HOAs, small and large businesses, commercial and residential real estate businesses, brokers, tenants, landlords, banks and title companies among many others.

We feel the Judge's unique background and experience qualify  Kraynick to be the best choice for Circuit Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Group 34. As always, we wish the best of luck to the winner as they seek to execute their sacred public duties to uphold justice and order in our State and community.

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