Annrae Angel In The News

February, 2020

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3/1/2020 - Go to letter

Letter |Judicial candidate Annrae Angel deserves support

Of the three candidates for Superior Court Judge, Annrae Angel was the only one with the courage to declare before the disgraced incumbent withdrew. Annrae deserves our support.

— Nelson Crandall, Aptos

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/28/2020 - Go to letter

Letter |Judicial candidate Annrae Angel rose to challenge

I read with pride the Guest Commentary by Gloria Nieto in the Sentinel. As a public defender for nearly 30 years, I am always pleased to hear clients praise the work of their public defender. Fortunately, many attorneys who take appointed cases share that praise, as does Annrae Angel. Annrae is a well-respected attorney who has dedicated her career to improving the lives of her clients. What sets her apart from the other two candidates is that she is the only candidate who stepped up to challenge a sitting judge who had been disciplined by the Judicial Council for inappropriate behavior on the bench. This took guts, a personal financial investment and integrity. I understand their not wanting to take on a difficult challenge, however, they would not even be in the race had Annrae Angel not had the courage to challenge an unqualified sitting judge.

— Barbara Fargo, Santa Cruz 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/27/2020

Santa Cruz judicial candidates face off in forum

Competitors respond to questions from the county’s Criminal Defense Bar and District Attorneys Association

— by Elaine Ingalls, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/19/2020 (excerpted) -Go to Full Article

Annrae Angel stands up to answer a question during a judicial forum Tuesday... 

SANTA CRUZ — The three candidates vying for the Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge seat were questioned Tuesday night at a judicial forum in Santa Cruz...

At Tuesday’s forum, the candidates addressed questions written by the Santa Cruz County Criminal Defense Bar and the Santa Cruz County District Attorneys Association. Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schonfield and Defense Attorney Jay Rorty moderated the event. Candidates answered questions about their role models and mentors in the local court system, the root causes of the high rate of minority incarceration if the principles of the “Me Too” and “Believe All Women” movements belong in the courtroom, how to address delays to justice, bail reform and more.

...Angel said it isn’t up to a judge to determine whether a principle belongs in a courtroom or not.

“I think the parties may bring a principle of this type into a courtroom and it’s up to the judge to listen to everybody, give everybody a chance to say what they need to say, being prepared by reading whatever’s been submitted, and then basically make decisions based on evidence,”

Angel said. “Every single case is going to be different… And I think to prejudge and make a decision, whether something does or doesn’t belong in the courtroom, is to close off the ability to really read the information when it comes in and make those decisions when they matter.”

When asked about bail reform and the fairness of bail, Angel said she believes judges now have more power to determine if an individual is safe in the community and should exercise that power.

“I think sometimes judges would rather err on the side of caution, even if they think that a person isn’t going to be a safety risk, because that’s the way we’ve always done it and it’s time that we change that and really use the resources we have on an individual basis.”...

Voters can cast their ballots for their chosen candidate March 3.

Good Times Santa Cruz

March 3 Voter Guide: Meet the Candidates


— By JACOB PIERCE, TODD GUILD AND PATRICK DWIRE, Good Times Santa Cruz, 2/18/2020 (excerpted) -Go to Full Article

Last year, Annrae Angel was the first one to jump into the race for a judicial seat held by Judge Ariadne Symons, who had been slapped with a severe public censure over her behavior in and out of the courtroom. 

“Had I not come into the race, there might not be an election at all right now,”

says Angel. She says her candidacy put increased scrutiny on Symons, who ultimately announced her retirement and decided not to run for reelection, despite raising more than $100,000. After Symons stepped out, two more candidates jumped in to run against Angel...

...Angel says her early decision to run took guts, and she cites that as a reason voters should support her. It takes courage, she explains, for a judge to make difficult decisions from the bench, and to not be blown off course by questions about whether the decision will be popular. Angel has served as a defense attorney since 1993, and mostly represents indigent clients who can’t afford lawyers. Learning to be a good judge, she says, involves being aware of one’s biases and making sure they don’t influence a ruling...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/15/2020 - Go to letter

Letter | Annrae Angel for judge, because judges matter

Often voters who are not involved in the legal system gloss over the choice for judge. But that choice affects our lives and community, so we need to be mindful of who we choose. I choose Annrae Angel. If it weren’t for Ms. Angel, there would not be an election for judge. The incumbent, Ariadne Symons, was severely publicly censured by the Council on Judicial Performance, but because she was a well-funded incumbent, no one would run against her. Except Annrae Angel, because “it was the right thing to do.” It wasn’t until after Ms. Symons dropped out of the race that other candidates decided to run. Annrae Angel did the right thing when it really mattered. That courage and integrity are what make a great judge. For these reasons Annrae Angel will be my choice. Please join me in voting for Annrae Angel for judge.

— Lisa McCamey, Santa Cruz 

Three seek seat on Superior Court bench

Incumbent Judge Ariadne Symons not seeking reelection

— by Elaine Ingalls, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/4/2020 (excerpted) -Go to Full Article

Defense attorney Angel was the first person to announce her candidacy, which she did in August. Angel said she chose to run because it was the right thing to do.

Three candidates are running in the primary election for Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge on March 3.

Annrae Angel is a criminal defense attorney and was the first to announce her candidacy for Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge.

The March primary election has no incumbent. Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Ariadne “Ari” Symons decided to retire in November and not seek reelection.

Symons was first elected to the bench in 2008, but faced a “severe public censure” in May 2019 by the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state’s agency for overseeing judges. The censure, the second-most severe punishment for Symon’s position, was a result of eight instances of misconduct and ethics violations on and off the bench...

Annrae Angel

“It shows that I’m willing to make hard decisions and do the right thing for the community and for the justice system,” Angel said.

Angel has three decades of experience in civil, family and criminal law. After working in a District Attorney’s office in college and law school and doing civil litigation work, Angel opened her own practice in 1993. She has taken cases in Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County. Prior to 2015, she served as a pro tem judge in Santa Clara County, sitting in traffic court and small claims court when she was needed.

Angel said she will guarantee impartiality on the bench because it is a different job.

“Being a defense attorney, you have an obligation to your client,” Angel said. “Some of the things that that job entailed will transfer to the bench very well, which is caring about people, caring about victims, caring about defendants, caring about families, caring about justice. You have to care about justice to be a good judge or a good attorney… So the job is different in the sense that the obligation now becomes not only the client but it becomes to everybody. It becomes to both sides. Your obligation is to the community.”

Angel said each case has to be treated individually. “You don’t want to rule with a broad brush or you will miss things,” she said.

Angel said the court should try to rehabilitate defendants. “Because we don’t know who can and we don’t know who can’t,” Angel said. “So if we make those choices, then we may be wrong. I think we should try. Do our best.” ...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/1/2020 - Go to letter

Letter | Annrae Angel stepped up first to be next judge

Having been a public defender for more than 40 years, and being married to a Superior Court Judge, I have a unique perspective on what it takes to be an outstanding judge.

There are three candidates for Superior Court judge. Annrae Angel stands out as the superior choice. Annrae Angel filed her candidacy in order to challenge an incumbent who had been censured by the Commission on Judicial Performance. It is rare for an incumbent to be challenged, and it took great courage to do so. Only after the censured incumbent withdrew from the race, and the filing deadline reopened, did the other candidates decide to run.

While honesty, integrity, and competency are important attributes, courage is fundamental as judges make difficult decisions daily. Often they require much courage. Annrae Angel has all of the characteristics to make a good judge. Join me in voting for Annrae Angel.

— Peggy Banks Volkmann, Santa Cruz

January, 2020

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1/1/2020 - Go to letter

Letter | Annrae Angel is the right judicial candidate

Annrae Angel would make a wonderful judge. I was a public defender for more than 30 years in Santa Clara County and had the pleasure of working with Annrae for more than 20 years. She is honest, hardworking and treats others with kindness and respect. She will follow the law. Annrae is the only person who had the courage to challenge the judicial incumbent who had been publicly censured for her misdeeds. Vote Annrae Angel for Superior Court in March.

— Mindy Hall, Santa Cruz