Update June 22: The unofficial final tally shows Gary Kreep with 50.21 percent of the vote and Garland Peed with 49.79 percent. Kreep told Patch that he'll be sworn in in the first week of January.
Longtime San Diego County conservative Gary Kreep says he feels "blessed by God" to have won a seat on the San Diego Superior Court. With less than 1,000 ballots yet to be counted, Kreep cemented a 1,569 vote lead over Deputy District Attorney Garland Peed in the unofficial results of the June 5 primary released Tuesday.
The win is historic because Kreep is one of a few people who took an eligibility case against President Barack Obama all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in June. The court has denied hearings for any of the cases. Among his other high profile cases are the Mt. Soledad cross and his representation of Marine Sgt. Gary Stein who criticised Obama on Facebook and was demoted and discharged.
Political consultants such as believe Kreep's unexpected victory was the result of voters' lack of knowledge and Kreep's purchase of slate mailers. Kreep's lead remains less than 1 percent.
In an interview with Patch on Wednesday, Kreep said the strategy of buying "a tremendous amount" of slate mailers distributed by various organizations was his idea. He said he also worked with longtime San Diego political consultant James Sills to develop the wording of "robo calls" to constituents. State Sen. Joel Anderson recorded a message of support for the phone calls.
Anderson told Patch on Wednesday, "'Landslide Kreep' will do a great job on the bench. He is well qualified and will serve the people well."
Kreep said he and Anderson have been longtime friends. Anderson is among several elected and formerly elected officials who endorsed Kreep.
The San Diego County Bar Association, however, does not agree that Kreep would do a good job on the bench. The organization gave Kreep a low ranking in their assessment and favored Peed.
"We respect the votes of those who did vote because, as you know, there was a low turnout," Bar Association President Marvin Mizell told Patch Wednesday. "We really can't speculate why the vote went the way it did."
Kreep has stated his Christian faith and anti-establishment views lost him the support of the association but Mizell disagrees.
"That presupposes that there are no religious judges on the bench and that's simply not the case," he said. "There are 19 factors taken into consideration, such as temperament and experience, and religion is not one of them," he said.
Kreep is the executive director of the Ramona-based conservative U.S. Justice Foundation, which takes on issues such as abortion and the definition of marriage. He said his passion for constitutional law developed from an initial interest in family law, which led to a desire to see the constitutional rights of children and women protected.
He said no one before him has gone up against the San Diego political and legal establishment and been elected to a judge's seat.
Mizell's response was that the Judicial Election Evaluation Committee of the Bar Association is made up of all kinds of lawyers—civil, criminal, government and non-government—who are experienced in their field.
The Primary Election turnout in San Diego county was less than 27 percent, with an expected increase after the tally of absentee and provisional ballots.
* Patch will add more excerpts from the video interview in the coming days. They further explain his position on the Obama case. They were not added originally to this story due to the time constraints of editing and timeliness of this story.