Two experienced judges are vying for the Division II 20th circuit judge seat in Tuesday’s General Election.
Incumbent Judge Ike Lamke, Union, is opposed by Division 6 Associate Circuit Judge David Hoven, Washington, for the position that covers Franklin, Gasconade and Osage counties. Circuit judges serve six-year terms. Both candidates are 64 years old.
Hoven, a Democrat, has served as associate circuit judge since he was appointed in 2005 to fill a vacancy. Lamke, a Republican, has served one six-year term as circuit judge.
Both candidates presented information to The Missourian, stating their experience and qualifications for the position, as well as their aspirations and goals.
Following are comments from the judges:
Judge Hoven practiced law for 27 years in Franklin County until he was appointed to the associate circuit. He has been re-elected twice to the bench. His current term expires in 2018.
“Since I have been a judge, I have gained a tremendous amount of experience,” Hoven said. “In court I have heard cases, both civil and criminal, of which I have extensive experience that carries over from my law practice.
“I want the people of the 20th Circuit Court to enjoy the benefits of that experience,” he added. “I will be ready to handle the job on the first day.”
According to Hoven, political parties do not impact his decisions and actions as a judge, although candidates are required to declare a party.
“A political party is not relevant to what we do,” he explained. “We do not make political decisions.
“I would challenge anyone who has been in my court to determine — from the way I run my court and the decisions I make — what political party I belong to. On my job, I am not a Democrat or a Republican, I am a judge.”
Hoven further explained that circuit court judges do not decide cases such as gun control or abortion.
“We decide cases on the basis of law as it applies to the facts presented to us,” he stated. “More often than not, those cases are heard in federal court.”
Hoven said he has no intent to step into office and make immediate changes.
“I find that presumptuous and inappropriate to suggest we make changes,” he said.
“My primary goal is to do what I have been doing for 12 years, run my courtroom professionally and efficiently, and treat everyone in the courtroom with dignity and respect,” Hoven commented. “I will be ready on the first day to handle anything on my docket.”
Hoven is a graduate of Pacific High School. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Ind. He earned a law degree from Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif.
Hoven and his wife, Janet, have two children and one grandchild.
He is a member of the Pacific Lions Club and serves on the scholarship committee and presents scholarships to high school students. He is a former board member of the Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Union and Washington chambers.
Hoven also is on the board of directors for the Agape Help House, Pacific. Additionally, he has been a presenter for the Elks Lodge Red Ribbon Week rallies.
In 2015-16, Hoven was an adviser to students who participated in the Constitution Project Mock Trial Program.
He also is a lector at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Washington.
Hoven is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, the 20th Circuit Bar Association and the California Bar Association.
In 2015, he was recognized by the Missouri Supreme Court for Exemplary Service for his participation in judicial transfer and partnership programs. He has heard cases in 18 counties on assignment by the Missouri Supreme Court.
For seven years, Hoven also has been on a distinguished panel for the Missouri Bar DWI Law and Science Seminar.
Judge Lamke practiced law for 33 years before running for the Division II Circuit judge in 2010.
“I have successfully served as circuit judge during the past six years and I want to continue to do so,” Lamke said. “I originally filed for circuit judge because I believe a judge should apply the law and not make the law.
“During my practice of law for 33 years, I saw the harm done to various clients and to their belief in the legal system when a judge fails to apply the law,” he added.
Lamke said his education, involvement in the community and experience make him qualified for the position.
“I have successfully tried both felony and complex civil jury trial,” he said. “I have been appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to handle cases in other circuits throughout the state.”
Lamke added that his experience as an attorney also makes him qualified to continue on the bench.
“I handled thousands of legal matters and successfully tried felony and civil jury trials,” he said. “During those years, I also successfully handled appeals before the Missouri Court of Appeals and the Missouri Supreme Court, and lawsuits in federal district courts before the Eighth District Court of Appeals.”
According to Lamke, political alignment is important in the judge’s race.
“First, that is how it appears on the ballot, so a candidate has to make a choice,” he commented. “Second, like everything else in a candidate’s profile or history, the candidate’s political alignment is what a candidate has chosen to be part of.
“I have been a Republican my entire adult life,” he added. “That being said, politics should never affect a judge’s decision in the courtroom.”
Lamke said his goal as judge is to continue the work began six years ago.
“My goals and aspirations are the same now as they were six years ago,” he said. “That is to be a good judge, treat people fairly and apply the law, not make the law.”
Lamke added that he made changes when he first was elected, and is open to new ideas.
“I implemented a series of changes when I first became circuit judge six years ago in order to more effectively handle the dockets for the benefit of the parties, counsel and for better administration of justice,” he stated. “At this time, I stay open to consider the need for any changes.”
Lamke noted that his role as a circuit judge does not address national issues.
“A circuit judge is a trial judge and does not have a direct role with regard to these issues,” he said. “A trial judge is sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of Missouri.”
Lamke attended Immaculate Conception Grade School in Union and attended high school at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South, Kenrick. He earned a bachelor’s degree at St. Louis University and his law degree from Washington University School of Law.
Lamke and his wife, Susan, live between Union and Beaufort. He has one step-child and they are the grandparents of four grandchildren.
He served as the Osage District chairman of the Boy Scouts of America from 2012-14.
Lamke received the Pro Bono Service Award for outstanding service by providing legal services to the USS South Dakota Veterans’ Organization.
He continues to volunteer for Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the YMCA and local schools.
GN Judge Race 11-05-16