Whoever wins will likely have the job for life: no sitting local circuit court judge has lost an election since at least 1944. Though attorney Michael Woodyard is testing that precedent by challenging incumbent Timothy Connors this year, the primary won't affect the outcome--since there are only two candidates, both will advance to the general election. (Connors himself isn't taking sides in the primary--he's endorsed all four candidates.)
Jim Fink was born in Ypsilanti in 1955 and still lives there. He spent twenty years with the Washtenaw County sheriff's department, first as a deputy, later as a commander with a law degree, and left for private practice in 1998. He represents several local municipalities including Pittsfield Township, and says he handles "all sorts of businesses, lots of real estate, and a small but steady number of criminal" cases.
The son and brother of judges, Fink has the support of more than twenty current and retired judges, including Archie Brown and David Swartz on the 22nd Circuit Court. Other officeholders in his camp include township clerks Mandy Grewal (Pittsfield), Spaulding Clark (Scio), and Pat Kelly (Dexter), retiring water resources commissioner Janis Bobrin, and state representative Mark Ouimet. He says he's running because "I have the ability, the experience, and the desire to serve."