Archived Version: August 19, 2008

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Salvador Mendoza


Benton & Franklin County
Superior Court

Position One

Sal Mendoza

Current Occupation/Employer: Attorney/Private Practice Civil & Criminal law, State & Federal

Education: University of Washington, B.A. 1994; U.C.L.A. J.D. 1997

Legal/Judicial Experience: I am a former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and a former Assistant Attorney General. I am a farmer and a small business owner. Iíve been in private practice for nine years handling civil and criminal cases in state and federal court. Iíve served the people of both counties as a Judge Pro Tempore in Superior, District, Juvenile, and Municipal court. I also helped to create the first Drug Court for our counties and volunteer as a Board Director for the Legal Aid Society.

Candidate Statement: My 10 years of criminal law experience far exceeds that of the other candidates. Iím the only one who has performed all three positions: deputy prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge. My experience in prosecuting and defending serious criminal cases is important because 8 out of 10 trials in Benton and Franklin County are criminal law cases. My range of experience is one of the reasons why both Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor and Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim believe that I am the best candidate for Superior Court Judge. My nine years of judicial experience as a Judge Pro Tempore has given me a wide range of support from the legal community including Justice Charles Z. Smith, local civil and criminal law attorneys, and the Franklin County Superior Court Clerk, Mike Killian. Having grown up in the modest farming community of Prosser, I learned at an early age the importance of hard work, strong family values, and accountability. These values form my core judicial philosophy. With my wife Mia, also a former prosecutor, along with my sons Anthony and Danny, I hope to serve the people of Benton and Franklin County for the next 25 years.

Official web site:  
Opponents: Jerri Potts and Bruce Spanner
Candidate ratings:

Bar Association
(Member Poll)
Overall average
on 1 to 100 scale:
Overall average
on 1 to 100 scale:
Overall average
on 1 to 100 scale:
Latina/o Bar Association
of Washington
Qualified Well Qualified *
Women Lawyers
Well Qualified Well Qualified *

Important note! Each of these organizations uses its own standards and rating terms when evaluating candidates; please check their pages for further information. We do not have ratings for candidates with an asterisk (*), and the reasons vary. Some evaluations may still be in process, or we might not have received them yet; some candidates may not have been offered an opportunity to participate, or they may have declined to participate. Again, please check the organizations' pages for further details..

Finance report:

(Click a dollar figure for detailed data from the Public Disclosure Commission. Note that summary numbers here might not match detailed data for various reasons.)

Salvador Mendoza 08/13/2008 $73,719.70 $64,847.83
Jerri Potts 08/13/2008 $18,544.93 $16.911.14
Bruce Spanner 08/13/2008 $43,655.36 $42,414.45

Media stories:
    August 10,2008
Tri-City Herald   Bench candidates make their cases
    August 3, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Bar association weighs in on judicial race
    July 20, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Candidates invited to Benton City debate
    June 7, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Richland attorney files to run against VanderSchoor
    May 7, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Attorney throws hat in ring for judge seat
    May 2, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Kennewick woman enters race for judicial seat
    April 17, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Lawyer announces run for Superior Court race
    April 16, 2008
Tri-City Herald   Video: Mendoza running for judge position
    April 10, 2008
Tri-City Herald   After 22 years on bench, Benton-Franklin Superior Court judge to retire, P.O. Box 1460, Silverdale, WA  98383
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