Ray has filed a Statement of Interest in the position, which is opening with the coming retirement of Judge Steven Urie, and is collecting signatures on a nominating position.
If he succeeds in collecting enough signatures by the deadline of 5 p.m. April 6, he will simultaneously resign his council seat, as required by Arizona's "resign to run" law.
A successor would be appointed by the council to fill Ray’s seat for the remainder of his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2022. Ray was re-elected to a third term on council in 2018.
“I feel like I've been successful on the council,” Ray said. “We've got a lot of great things done. Gilbert is in a wonderful position. I look at the justice of the peace and the potential there to further impact the lives of the residents of Gilbert and part of Mesa, and it gives me a hope and satisfaction to think that I can continue to do more.”
Ray has a law degree as well as a bachelor’s degree in information technology, and for 19 years he had done litigation technology consulting, starting his own company, CREWLegal, in 2016. Among the cases he has consulted on are for the BP oil spill, singer Michael Jackson’s criminal trial and the T-Mobile-Sprint merger antitrust trial.
Ray, who said he dreamed as a boy about becoming a judge, said he hopes to make it easier for people to use the court system and possibly positively impact the lives of people who would come before him if he is elected to the position.