Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Presentado por
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 6, 2018 — Elección General de California

Tribunal Superior de California, Condado de San DiegoCandidato para Juez, Cargo 37

Photo de Matt Brower

Matt Brower

Deputy District Attorney, County of San Diego
550,044 votos (46.9%)Winning
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Mis 3 prioridades principales

  • Oversee a courtroom without bias and treat all people with professionalism, dignity, and respect.
  • Never risk public safety, though at the same time work to address underlying causes of substance abuse, recognizing the need for public and mental health options to combat recidivism.
  • Work with collaborative courts such as Veterans, Drug, and Homeless Courts for low level applicable cases to work with stake holders at the DA, Public Defender, and mental health professionals to address underlying cause of substance abuse.



Profesión:Deputy District Attorney and Judge Advocate, USMCR
Deputy District Attorney, County of San Diego, San Diego County District Attorney's Office (2012–current)
Lieutenant Colonel Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps Reserve, United States Marine Corps Reserve (does not imply endorsement of DoD, Dept of Navy, or U.S. Marine Corps) (2001–current)


University of San Diego School of Law Juris Doctor Degree, Cum Laude, Law (2003)
San Jose State University Bachelors of Arts, History and French (2001)

Actividades comunitarias

Member, San Diego County Bar Association (2012–current)
Member, San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association (2013–current)
Member, Democrats for Environmental Action (2017–current)
Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars (2017–current)
Member, American Legion (2017–current)



JAG to Judge!


As a Deputy District Attorney, I fight for crime victims and public safety.  I have been endorsed by the San Diego Deputy District Attorneys’ Association, San Diego City Attorneys’ Association, San Diego Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, San Diego Police Officers’ Association, a dozen additional local Peace Officer Associations, and numerous judges; I am proud to be law enforcement’s choice.


As a 16-years a Marine, I continue to defend my country as I did when I deployed with infantry battalions to Iraq and Afghanistan.  My years presiding over numerous preliminary hearings from the bench in military court further demonstrate my unparalleled qualifications. 


Our courts are crucial to addressing the public health substance abuse crisis plaguing our communities.  I support and have seen successful outcomes from Homeless, Drug, and Veterans Court programs that address underlying causes of crime to combat recidivism.


I graduated from USD Law School with honors.  In its ratings this year the County Bar Association found me qualified to serve as a Superior Court Judge.  As a result, I have been endorsed by each of the three June primary challengers and am proud to have their support. 


I would be honored to receive your vote.  

¿Quién apoya a este candidato?

Featured Endorsements

  • Judge David Brown, California Superior Court
  • San Diego County Democratic Party
  • San Diego County Deputy Sheriff's Association

Organizaciónes (6)

  • San Diego County Deputy District Attorneys Association
  • San Diego Police Officers Association
  • Poway Firefighters Association, Local 3922
  • Service Employees International Union, Local 221
  • San Diego Union-Tribune
  • San Diego County Democratic Veterans Club

Funcionarios electos (5)

  • Toni Atkins, California State Senator, President Pro Tem
  • Dr. Shirley Weber, California State Assembly Member
  • Dan McAllister, County of San Diego Treasurer-Tax Collector
  • Dianne Jacob, Chairwoman, San Diego County Board of Supervisors
  • Samantha Begovich, Board Member & Secretary, San Diego Employees Retirement Association

Individuos (5)

  • Judge Linda Quinn, California Superior Court (Ret.)
  • Judge Herbert B. Hoffman, California Superior Court (Ret.)
  • Judge Ronald Prager, California Superior Court (Ret.)
  • Judge Richard Cline, California Superior Court (Ret.)
  • Commissioner Donald Armento, California Superior Court (Ret.)

Preguntas y Respuestas

Preguntas de KPBS and the League of Women Voters (San Diego and North County San Diego chapters) (5)

Do you believe that the rating you received from the San Diego County Bar Association in May 2018 (viewable here: ) accurately represents your character and professional competence? Why or why not?
Respuesta de Matt Brower:

The San Diego County Bar Association’s Judicial Election Evaluation Committee (JEEC) prepares the Association’s evaluations and actively gathers information on each candidate from a wide variety of sources, including broad feedback from the community and information received from each candidate. The JEEC follows a detailed and confidential process in determining its evaluations, modeled after the California State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) process used when candidates are appointed by the Governor. 

All judicial candidates are evaluated on 15 different factors including fairness and objectivity; integrity and honesty; decisiveness; judgement and common sense; judicial temperament; knowledge of the law; professional reputation; trial experience; intellect and ability; tolerance and lack of bias; caseload management; courtesy and patience; writing and research skills; and compassion and understanding. Religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, gender, disability and type of law practiced are not factors in the evaluation process.

On May 1, 2018, The JEEC rated me qualified to serve as a Superior Court Judge.  I believe that the ratings of the JEEC accurately represent my character and professional competence.  These ratings should be taken into consideration by voters in the upcoming November 6th county-wide election.

Is it appropriate for serving judges to bring important legal or judicial issues to the attention of the public and/or the legislature? Why or why not? What do you think a judge's role should be?
Respuesta de Matt Brower:

Judges are subject matter experts on the law and the daily functions in our courts.  As a result, judges and judge associations should and historically do provide advice to law makers in Sacramento on what is working and what is not working in our courts.  At a more grass roots level I see no problem with judges exercising their First Amendment freedoms by participating in the public discussion of the law within the context of the California Judicial Ethics Rules and U.S. Supreme Court precedent.  Judges and Appellate Justices frequently teach at law schools and give a healthy portion of their opinions on certain laws during the process.  We should not relegate decision makers in positions of authority such as judges to isolation from the public in our relevant discourse on the law.  In a vibrant democracy such as ours when discussing what is working and not working in the court system (such as the recent debate on bail reform) judges should be (and were) listened to about what would and would not work in practice.  Judges’ experiences from thousands of cases make judges particularly well suited to assist the public and legislature in discussions of the law and the potential effects of changes to it.

Do you believe that all residents of San Diego County—regardless of geography, personal financial resources, or English language proficiency—have adequate access to legal help and the legal system? Why or why not?
Respuesta de Matt Brower:

The San Diego County Public Defender's Office exists to provide legal representation to indigent defendants in criminal cases.  There also exists a government administered program whereby legal representation is provided to indigent tenants in landlord tenant dispute cases.  In criminal cases witnesses, victims, and defendants are provided with interpreter services free of charge.  While these valuable services are there to serve the poor there are still structural impediments in the system that create hardship to the disadvantaged.  The courts today are far more accessible and fairer than they have been historically and we continue to move the courts forward toward greater justice.  That being said, there is still more to be done in our system to remove many of the inequities that afflict and disadvantage the poor in the court system.  As a judge I would be receptive to all opinions of ways by which we can improve our courts to give the disadvantaged greater access.

Some federal drug cases have been bumped down into Superior Court, due to the Department of Justice's decision to prosecute immigration cases more aggressively. (See this Union-Tribune article: ). Are you concerned about the impact of the increased federal immigration caseload on the San Diego Superior Court caseload? Why or why not?
Respuesta de Matt Brower:

This will be an issue that will need to be addressed by law enforcement.  I would encourage voters to seek answers to these policy questions by contacting their representatives in congress or the various local law enforcement agencies.

Who are your judicial role models, and what specific qualities of theirs do you hope to emulate on the bench?
Respuesta de Matt Brower:

I have had the opportunity to practice in front of many judges though for me several definitely stand out as role models whom I would and do seek to emulate.  Numerous local Superior Court Judges definitely come to mind.  To avoid calling any of them out by name I will limit my responses to judges from other jurisdictions in front of whom I have practiced.  Judge Thomas J. Sanzi exhibited a calm temperament and sense of fairness in a case that I would definitely seek to emulate.  Judge John Ewers had an ability to understand the underlying motivations of the parties and address these concerns in a way that a less patient judge might miss.  His people skills and sense of empathy were greatly appreciated by both sides in an otherwise intractable serious case.  Judge Stephen Keane brought a level of professionalism and authority to the courtroom that I have always looked upon as a model of judicial temperament.  When lives, freedom, and fortunes are in the balance, a sense of solemnity in court is absolutely warranted.  This is the lesson I learned from Judge Keane.  Lastly, Judge Peter Rubin, with his history of having served as a criminal defense attorney, provided me with a lesson in seeking to address the underlying causes of criminal misconduct in sentencing.  Tailoring the sentence to fit the crime, and acting out of a sense of proportionality was a lesson in temperance I learned with great appreciation and it made an impact on me from my perspective as a young prosecutor.  It is the collective wisdom imparted upon me by these judges and many numerous others in our jurisdiction as well that I would seek to emulate.  My goal as a judge would be to strive daily to remove bias from the courtroom and treat all people with professionalism, dignity and respect.  This is a basic value that I believe on November 6th the People of San Diego County will state is actually a requirement. 

Creencias poliza

Filosofía política

My philosophy on the bench would be to follow the law, listen to countervailing arguments of both parties with an open mind, and strive always to do justice consistent with the law.  I am focused on justice and maintaining public safety.  I take the mindset that as a responsible public servant every neighborhood is my neighborhood.  I am running on a platform of treating all people with professionalism, dignity, and respect, and I pledge to do the same.

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