Next Saginaw County 10th Circuit Court judge prepares for job after election win – MLive.com

Brittany Dicken (center) stands with Saginaw County judges (left to right) Patrick McGraw, Janet Boes, Andre Borrello, and James Borchard. After Borchard retires, Dicken will join their ranks in January 2023.
SAGINAW, MI — Residents voted Brittany Dicken as the next 10th Circuit Court judge for the Saginaw County Circuit Court.
Dicken bested Megan Cottington-Heath, 34,599 to 26,789 votes, in one of Saginaw County’s high-profile local races, according to the county’s unofficial results.
The 10th Circuit Court judge seat exclusively handles child custody, divorce, and family law-related files.
Dicken said she was grateful by the voter turnout and support.
“I can’t thank people enough,” she said. “It’s just so overwhelming to have people support you like that.”
With campaigning now behind her, the 35-year-old said she will begin immediately preparing to take on her new role. She begins her work as judge Monday, Jan. 2.
She plans next week to attend a conference in Novi on family law, “just because I want to stay up-to-date on what’s going on so that I can hit the ground running,” Dicken said. She also plans to attend online seminars for judges in the coming months.
Dicken will replace retiring 10th Circuit Judge James T. Borchard, who endorsed his former intern and law clerk during her campaign.
Dicken said in the coming weeks she hopes to “shadow” Borchard in the courthouse and “pop into court just to get a feel for what his current cases that are pending look like.”
Along with her previous experience working with Borchard, Dicken also served Saginaw County in the Friend of the Court as a staff attorney, Circuit Court referee and agency director until her departure in November 2021.
The 10th Circuit race was among the priciest local campaigns this election cycle in Saginaw County. Both general election candidates spent nearly $180,000 in combined money on their elections, according to state campaign finance documents filed late last month.
Dicken won the race despite her opponent spending more than twice as much. Of the two candidates, Cottington-Heath’s campaign was the priciest, at $125,125.72, the campaign finance documents showed. Dicken’s campaign spent $54,700.56 during the same period.
Both candidates also contributed thousands of dollars of their own money to boost their respective campaigns. Cottington-Heath contributed $103,452 of her own money and Dicken contributed $21,678.76
Cottington-Heath said she was proud of her campaign and the team supporting her bid for the seat.
“We’ve been told by so many we did everything right, and there was nothing more we could have done,” Cottington-Heath said in a statement. “We knocked on 15,000 doors, and made over 7,000 phone calls, all while I raised three kids and ran my own law firm, with a first responder spouse who is gone one-third of the month on 24-hour shifts. That alone is a huge accomplishment.”
Cottington-Heath, a 38-year-old attorney, said she devoted her professional life to family law and abuse and neglect cases. Cottington-Heath said she planned to “continue to serve the underprivileged and underserved in Saginaw.”
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LIVE: Saginaw County election results for Nov. 8, 2022
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