---- — DETROIT (AP) — Michigan Democrats on Sunday selected three women to run for a state Supreme Court that is sharply divided by partisan politics.
Republicans control the court, 4-3, and the races have seen large infusions of campaign money in recent elections. Bankers, hospitals, Realtors, farmers, doctors and insurance companies typically give campaign cash to GOP court candidates, while unions and personal-injury lawyers support Democratic nominees.
Political parties nominate people for the Supreme Court, but party labels don't appear on the ballot.
"The institution has been politicized. I think that's too bad," Democratic nominee Bridget McCormack told The Associated Press in a telephone interview after her nomination at the Lansing convention. "People want the judicial system to be different from our other branches of government."
McCormack is a University of Michigan law professor. The other Democratic nominees are Wayne County Circuit Judge Connie Kelley and Oakland County District Judge Shelia Johnson.
Democratic state convention delegates accepted their party leaders' recommendations. Campaign literature has been in circulation for the three candidates.
Republicans met Saturday in Grand Rapids and selected incumbent justices Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra and Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Colleen O'Brien.
Johnson will run against Zahra for two years left in the term that formerly belonged to Maura Corrigan, who resigned in 2011.
Incumbent Democratic Justice Marilyn Kelly can't run again because of age restrictions.
McCormack is an unusual candidate for the state's highest court because she isn't a judge. She's best known for being co-director of the Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school, which has won the release of prisoners who were wrongly convicted. Her husband, Steven Croley, is a White House lawyer.
Voters often pay little attention to the judicial races on the ballot, McCormack acknowledged. She said that's too bad.
"It affects all our families in a very important way," she said. "I'm hopeful that the public will really tune in."
The Democratic convention delegates also chose candidates for the four elected state education boards.
Nominated for the state Board of Education were Lupe Ramos-Montigny and Michelle Fecteau. For the Michigan State University Board of Trustees, the nominees were Joel Ferguson and Brian Mosallam. For the University of Michigan Board of regents, they were Mark Bernstein and Shauna Ryder Diggs. And for the Wayne State University Board of Governors, the nominees were Sandra Hughes O'Brien and Kim Trent.