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SAN DIEGO COUNTY ELECTIONS : Hedgecock Case Prompted Wickersham to Seek Bench

November 06, 1986|JIM SCHACHTER | Times Staff Writer

His boss' endorsement helped. A last-minute contribution that bought $2,000 in radio time didn't hurt.

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Charles Wickersham says former Mayor Roger Hedgecock--the man whose political career he helped destroy--deserves most of the credit for his election to the San Diego County Superior Court.

"That's the thing that convinced me I should try for it," Wickersham said Wednesday, referring to his successful prosecution of Hedgecock last year for campaign financing violations. "In the final analysis, I think it's the thing that made the difference."

Wickersham, a 20-year veteran prosecutor who ran as a law-and-order candidate, handily defeated San Diego Municipal Judge E. Mac Amos Jr. for the seat vacated by Judge Earl H. Maas Jr., who retired. Final tallies showed Wickersham with 54% of the vote to Amos' 46%.

Amos, a moderate Democrat appointed to the Municipal Court in 1982 by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., said he was surprised by Wickersham's margin of victory.

Both men said Wickersham's endorsement by the San Diego Union contributed to the result. Amos, who declined during the race to state his position on the retention of California Chief Justice Rose Bird, said the voters' resounding rejection of Bird may have been a factor in his defeat. Wickersham came out for Bird's removal from office.

Wickersham, 48, estimated that he spent $18,000 to $20,000 in the general election, compared with Amos' estimated spending of $10,000 to $12,000.

Amos, 43, whose current term on the Municipal Court runs through 1990, said he may quit the judiciary to return to private practice.

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