Appellate judges easily approved

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida voters Tuesday approved keeping 28 appeals-court judges on the job --- with all of the judges receiving at least 60 percent support in merit-retention elections.

The results for the judges in the state's five district courts of appeal were similar to the results of merit-retention votes Tuesday for Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Supreme Court justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston.

Under the non-partisan merit retention system, Supreme Court justices and appellate judges are appointed by the governor and then face initial retention votes, after one year in office, in the next general election. After the initial retention votes, which requires support from a majority of voters, justices and judges face retention votes every six years.

Labarga, Canady and Polston each received at least 66 percent support Tuesday. Also, 10 of the appeals-court judges received more than 70 percent support. Those 10 were 2nd District Court of Appeals judges Patricia Kelly and Matt Lucas; 3rd District Court of Appeals judges Edwin Scales and Linda Ann Wells; and 4th District Court of Appeals judges Cory Ciklin; Dorian Damoorgian; Jonathan Gerber; Robert Gross; Spencer Levine; and Melanie May, according to the state Division of Elections website