Siperstein & St. Juste In Race To Be Next PBC Circuit Judge In Group 23

Justice gavel and law book

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The race for Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Group 23 is for an open seat being vacated by Judge John Kastrenakes.

He's not seeking re-election, claiming to want to spend more time with his family. Some pundits question whether a decision he made in 2019 has something to do with it.

Kastrenakes made national news when he sent a black college student to jail for 10 days after he failed to report for jury duty. The 21-year old said he overslept, but the judge took a lot of criticism for the decision.

Two candidates are vying for the seat and the race will be won outright during the August 23 election. Both have run unsuccessful previous campaigns for the local bench.

Caryn Siperstein attempted to unseat Circuit Judge Jaimie Goodman two years ago.

"I missed the runoff by .17 percent and I knew that my adventure was not over. So I'm running again now and I believe that I have the right experience, knowledge and temperament to best serve our community."

Alcolya St. Juste lost a race for an open seat in 2018 to Scott Kerner, the brother of Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner.

Siperstein, who moved here from New Jersey 12 years ago, has practiced law for almost 20 years in both a private firm and through government service.

She's currently a senior assistant attorney general in Palm Beach County, working civil litigation cases.

"I represent the state, its agencies and employees when they get sued, which includes judges, prosecutors, public defenders and this experience sets me apart because I've had the opportunity to work with judges, providing a unique perspective of the inner workings of the courthouse."

St. Juste is a trial attorney, practicing law in Palm Beach County for more than 18 years.

The Boynton Beach native says she also served for more than ten years as a special magistrate, a quasi-judicial role...

"Where I listen to testimony from witnesses, review evidence and make decisions much like a judge and determine an outcome based on the facts and circumstances of the case and the rule of law that prevails."

St. Juste says she has also served as a court mediator and has been vetted by the Judicial Nominating Commission.

"And the Judicial Nominating Commission has sent my name up to the Office of the Governor for consideration for merit judicial appointment. A distinction which only I hold in the current race."

Judicial races, like the ones for School Board, are nonpartisan and open to all registered voters in the county.

The only other judicial race is for the Palm Beach County Court, Group 9 seat. We'll be covering that one too here and on-air.

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