Candidate filing week has passed. And that means we now know for sure who aspires to wear a robe on the benches of Washington’s courts.
Locally, there are candidates from the Kitsap peninsula running for judge on not only the county’s superior court bench, but also for the court of appeals and the Washington State Supreme Court. Here’s a brief guide to all of our judicial candidates:
Port Orchard lawyer Bruce Danielson, who ran a close race for county prosecutor last year and has also run for judge in Kitsap, made a surprise entrance into a race for state supreme court justice against Steven Gonzalez of Seattle, on the last day of election filing.
Gonzalez was appointed to the eighth seat aboard the nine-seat state supreme court by Gov. Chris Gregoire in November.
Sheryl Gordon McCloud, who lives on Bainbridge Island and is a longtime appellate lawyer, announced far prior to filing week her intent to seek seat number nine on the state supreme court, which is being vacated by retiring justice Tom Chambers.
She has three opponents: Bruce Hilyer, a King County Superior Court judge, John W. Ladenburg Sr., former Pierce County executive and Richard Sanders, former state supreme court judge.
The most crowded race involving Kitsap County candidates comes in the local division of the court of appeals — the court sandwiched between the lower superior court and the higher state supreme court.
Longtime Court of Appeals Judge David Armstrong is retiring this year, creating the vacancy. Six candidates, two of which are from Kitsap, are vying to take his place.
Pamela “Pam” Loginsky, of Port Orchard, is a former Kitsap County deputy prosecutor who works for the state’s prosecutor’s association.
Thomas “Tom” Weaver, of Bremerton, is a private attorney who runs a law firm handling mostly criminal defense.
The four other candidates appear to call Thurston County home, according to the Olympian newspaper. They include, Thomas Bjorgen, who recently worked as a land use hearings examiner; Michael Lynch, head of the state attorney general’s office’s tort claims division; Jim Foley, an Olympia lawyer who has run for state supreme court before; and retired Democratic state representative Brendan Williams, also of Olympia.
Of the eight judges on Kitsap County Superior Court, seven won’t face an opponent this fall, including Kevin Hull (former Kitsap deputy prosecutor) and Steve Dixon (longtime Port Orchard attorney), both of whom were recently appointed to the seats by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
The one race that is contested — the seat that Judge M. Karlynn Haberly is retiring from — has bloated to four candidates:
Jennifer Forbes, who commutes to Tacoma, where she is a partner at the law firm McGavick Graves;
Bill Houser, defense attorney currently working in the Kitsap County Office of Public Defense.
Karen Klein, a Bainbridge attorney and chief executive officer and general counsel of Silver Planet, Inc., a senior health care concierge service.
Rob MacDermid, a Navy veteran and general practice lawyer.
The Kitsap Sun will be keeping close tabs on these races in the months ahead. Stay tuned.