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James P. Gray

From Academic Kids

James "Jim" P. Gray is currently the presiding judge of the Superior Court of Orange County, California. He is a former Libertarian candidate for the United States Senate. He is also the author of the 2001 book Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It.

Raised in the Los Angeles area, Gray earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1966, after which he taught in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. Gray returned to California and earned a law degree from the University of Southern California in 1971. From 1972 through 1975, he practiced law with the U.S. Navy JAG Corps in Guam and California.

After five years in private practice, Gray was named to the Santa Ana Municipal Court in 1983 and then to the Orange County Superior Court in 1989, where he has served for over a decade. Much of Gray's legal career has dealth with drug-related issues, leading him to write Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It -- A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs (ISBN 1566398606) in 2001; Gray has argued for legalization of marijuana.

Gray, previously a Republican, joined the Libertarian Party and, in November of 2003, declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Barbara Boxer. Although at one point Gray expressed an interest in running for President on the Libertarian ticket in 2004, Gray is viewed by some within the LP as a leading possible contender for the 2008 presidential nomination; he was also a keynote speaker at the 2004 Libertarian National Convention.

In March 2004, Gray defeated former California LP chair Gail Lightfoot in a statewide primary for the party's nomination. Gray suspended his judicial activities while running for the Senate, and polled as high as 10% in the statewide race against Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Bill Jones (he received less than 2% in the election). Gray picked up a newspaper endorsement -- rare for a third-party candidate -- from the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Gray currently resides in Newport Beach, California, is married, and has four children.

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