Does the gender of a judge matter?

I ran across an article in the Herald News today with this headline:

 “Judicial subcircuit races to pit men vs. women”

While it is true that the races highlighted have candidates of both genders running, I wonder what that headline is trying to tell us.  Okay, so each race is a man versus a woman, but it’s not like the races were structured that way on purpose.  Or rather, is the headline trying to convey that it is a significant or noteworthy event to see that for every male candidate, there is a female candidate? But why not say that instead of using the phrase “pit men vs women”? There is something striking about bringing up the gender of judges at all.  In my practice, I never consciously think of a judge’s gender and whether that would work for/against my client’s interest.

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