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By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Judge-elect Matt Brower at an Election Night party downtown

November 9, 2018 (San Diego) – Matt Brower has defeated incumbent San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep by a 59% to 41% margin. 

It’s rare for a sitting judge to be voted out of office. But Kreep was censured by the State Commission on Judicial Performance for 29 counts on judicial misconduct and running his courtroom in a biased manner, making derogatory comments about minorities, women attorneys, and people with cases before him. He came within one vote of being removed as a judge by the Commission for his misconduct

Brower is a deputy district attorney and judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was backed by the San Diego County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement groups, as well as by the San Diego County Democratic Party and also had cross-party support including Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

In an interview with East County Magazine earlier this year on KNSJ radio, Brower said that if elected, he will “be focused on a daily basis with treating all people with professionalism, dignity and respect.” “He added, “I knew that the people of San Diego County share my values and that we need to hold all of our elected officials to a very high standard.”

Judge Kreep was rated “lacking qualifications” in this year’s race by the San Diego County Bar Association. Kreep obtained his law degree at the University of San Diego and worked as chief executive officer and general counsel of the nonprofit United States Justice Foundation before being elected in 2012. Before his election, Kreep was an advocate of the “birther” movement that falsely claimed President Barack Obama was born in Kenya despite Hawaii producing Obama’s birth certificate and affirmed he was born there. Kreep was backed by the Republican Party and conservative groups.