Meredith Dropkin


Maria Ruhl Announces Candidacy for 12th Judicial Circuit Court JudgeServing Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties

Only Second Challenge for 12th Judicial Circuit Judge in 25+ years

Maria Ruhl SM

Sarasota, Florida – July 11, 2018  Maria Ruhl, founder of the law firm Ruhl Law, P.A., has formally announced her candidacy for circuit court judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit in the August 28, 2018 election. Ruhl is the first candidate to challenge an incumbent judge for the 12th Circuit Court since 2006. The 12th Circuit Court serves Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.

“My campaign is less about me and more about the people,” said Ruhl. “The judiciary is the third, co-equal branch of our state government, and this seat has long gone unopposed. Many people don’t know that it is their voice that chooses who belongs on the bench. I want the people of our community to let their voices be heard.”

Ruhl is vying for the group 12 seat currently held by Brian A. Iten, who was appointed on December 2, 2015, and faces his first election. Florida requires that judges be elected or retained by the voters, so the power to decide who holds these important positions rests with the people. Circuit judges are elected for six-year terms and must be re-elected to retain their seats. Judges who were appointed to circuit court through a vacancy must sit for election at the end of the remainder of their appointed terms. Florida law requires judicial elections to be nonpartisan in order to preserve the impartiality of the judge’s position.

Throughout her years of service, Ruhl has tirelessly represented individuals of all backgrounds, advocating on their behalf as victims, defendants, plaintiffs and respondents. When not managing her practice, Ruhl dedicates her time to pro bono efforts focused on abused women and children.

“Maria Ruhl is a talented multitasker,” said Kerry E. Mack, Esq. of the Mack Law Firm. “Every day she serves her family, her clients, her community and the justice system. Maria knows the difference between right and wrong, and she believes the citizens of the 12th Judicial Circuit should be able to choose their judge.”

Maria Ruhl is holding two fundraising events this month to help support her campaign: Wednesday, July 18 at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar Landside location, 6906 St. W. in Bradenton, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Tuesday, July 24 at the home of Heather and Derek Byrd at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 941-539-2222 or email

About Maria Ruhl

Raised in Florida, Maria Ruhl graduated from Florida Bible Christian School in Miramar, Florida, and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida International University. She then attended St. Thomas University School of Law, where she was a member of Law Review, secretary of the Moot Court Board and served an internship as a law clerk for a federal judge in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. In 2005 Ruhl earned her Juris Doctorate and became a member of the Florida Bar. Beginning her legal career in private practice, Ruhl founded the law firm of Ruhl Law, P.A. in 2011. She currently resides in Sarasota County with her husband Rick and their three sons. To learn more, visit

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