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Conservative attorney leads prosecutor in race for San Diego judgeship

GaryWith about 2,000 votes yet to be counted, an attorney aligned with conservative causes is leading a veteran prosecutor by 1,458 votes for a seat on the San Diego County Superior Court.

Gary Kreep, founder and chief executive of the U.S. Justice Foundation, is leading Deputy Dist. Atty. Garland Peed.

Kreep has 202,873 votes to Peed's 201,145 votes. Roughly 2,000 absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, the San Diego County registrar of voters announced Monday afternoon.

On Monday morning, when 4,000 votes remained, Kreep led by 1,088 votes.

Kreep has represented the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, the Marine booted out for criticizing President Obama and "birthers" who believe Obama was not born in the United States. He has also served as a judge pro-tem and a settlement judge in family law cases.

The San Diego County Bar Assn. listed Kreep as "lacking qualifications" to be a judge. Peed, a member of the San Diego County district attorney's staff for 27 years, was listed as "well qualified."

Peed, chief of the district attorney's Superior Court Division, was endorsed by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis and Sheriff Bill Gore. Kreep was endorsed by members of the tea party movement.

In his ballot statement, Kreep said: "Arrogant judges who overstep their authority are a threat to society. They let criminals go free based on procedural technicalities. Other judges think nothing of overturning ballot measures approved by millions of voters."

Both candidates are graduates of the University of San Diego law school: Kreep in 1976, Peed in 1981.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Gary Kreep. Credit: U.S. Justice Foundation

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