Cory Woodward

Kern County Superior Court Judge Cory Woodward ran for re-election and came in second in June, then pulled out of the November runoff after taking a job with the California Inspector General's office in Bakersfield. His candidacy was already weakened by his censure in 2014 for carrying on an extra-marital affair with a court clerk and attempting to conceal it.

Re-elect Judge Cory Woodward Facebook page

There was a right way for former Kern County Superior Court Judge Cory Woodward to have abandoned his race for re-election.

He chose the wrong way.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m glad his “honor” has found work elsewhere.

I said in May he should not have run again after being censured by the Commission on Judicial Performance for lying (repeatedly) about on an extra-marital affair he had with his clerk.

But run he did.

He came in second of three contenders on June 7, leading to a runoff next month against Kern County Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Organ-Bowles.

Given the fact that Organ-Bowles and a third candidate, Defense Attorney Arturo Revelo, captured 56 percent of the vote combined, the handwriting was on the wall — Woodward would most likely lose in November.

Instead of being honest with voters and quitting back in June, though, Woodward chose the weasley way out.

He kept up the facade of a campaign on both his re-election Facebook and web pages, posting regularly throughout the summer.

There was even an “On to November!” post the day after the June primary.

He didn’t bother to mention that he’d apparently contacted his old pal and former co-worker at the Kern County District Attorney’s office, Bob Barton, now California’s inspector general, about an attorney’s position with the IG’s office here in Bakersfield.

He applied for that job on June 26.

As with any state job, the application process is fairly arduous.

There’s an initial application and exam, then you get ranked, if you rank high enough you move to the next step, then there’s an oral exam, then interviews and finally a background check.

He’s in that final phase now.

Woodward could have clued in voters somewhere in that process when it was becoming clear he would get the job (though I’m sure that was a foregone conclusion before he took the first step).

Instead, he blithely continued to post about events, etc., on his re-election Facebook page throughout summer.

To this day, he still hasn’t notified voters that he’s out.

He only admitted he was moving on when The Californian asked (several times) for his status after getting a tip that he had told the presiding judge of the Kern court system he was going on “terminal vacation” late last week.

By then it was too late for the Elections Division to remove his name from ballots, which means he still has a chance — however slim — to win his seat back.

If he does, he could actually be sworn in as a judge again.

He told The Californian he intends to “...fulfill the commitment I’ve made to my new employer.”

Since he’s proven over and over that we can’t trust his word, pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lois Henry. Her column runs Wednesdays and Sundays. Comment at http://www.bakersfield.com, call her at 395-7373 or email lhenry@bakersfield.com

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