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Fresno County Judges Plan Exit, Opening Seats in 2020.
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 years ago on
November 5, 2019

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Two Fresno County Superior Court judges plan to retire and not run for reelection in the 2020 election. The move opens up two seats on the bench.
Wednesday (Nov. 6) is the deadline for incumbent judicial candidates to file to run again. Of the 19 seats on the March 3, 2020 ballot, all but two have filed to run again.


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Judges Don Penner and Alan Simpson both confirmed to GV Wire they will not seek reelection. Their decisions trigger an extension (to Nov. 12) for candidates to file to run for the open seats.

Penner Appointed by Schwarzenegger

Gabriel Brickley
Penner was first appointed to the bench in 2006 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He won reelection to the seat, which carries a six-year term, in 2008 and 2014.
Prior to his appointment, he served 32 years in the Fresno County District Attorney’s office, rising to the rank of Assistant District Attorney.
Gabriel Brickey, a prosecutor and chief deputy district attorney, is the lone candidate thus far to replace Penner.

Presiding Judge Retiring

Douglas Treisman
Simpson, the court’s current presiding judge, is stepping away after nearly 20 years on the bench. He was first appointed by Gov. Gray Davis in 2000, and won reelection in 2002, 2008 and 2014.
He worked in the DA office, as well as private practice prior to his judicial appointment.
Arlan Harrell will take over as presiding judge in January.
One candidate has emerged thus far to replace Simpson. Douglas Treisman, a Fresno County senior deputy district attorney, has filed to run. He was an unsuccessful candidate for judge in 2008, losing the race to James Kelly.

Judges Seeking Reelection

The other 17 judges in Fresno County have filed to run again, and with no opposition: David Gottlieb, Jane Cardoza, Houry Sanderson, Greg Fain, Arlan Harrell, Jonathan Conklin, D. Tyler Tharpe, Jon Kapetan, Ana de Alba, Amy Guerra, Lisa Gamoian, John Vogt, Jeffrey Hamilton, Kimberly Nystrom-Geist, Jim Kelly, Francine Zepeda, and Monica Diaz.
A superior court judge’s salary is $213,833 a year.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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