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VotingforJudges is a nonpartisan, impartial source of information about judicial elections in the state of Washington. The site was established in 2006 to provide information to voters in connection with the judicial candidates running for election that year. Our archives retain information from the 2006 and 2007 elections. We are now covering Washington's 2008 elections.


The Primary is the only election for most judicial races.
Vote August 19!

Candidates throughout the state filed during the week of June 2-6, and campaigns are underway.

The very important primary election, which will determine the final results in most instances, will be held on August 19, and the general election will be held on November 4. Primary ballots are in the mail now.

This year, VotingforJudges is providing information about elections for three Supreme Court positions (currently held by Justices Mary Fairhurst, Charles Johnson, and Debra Stephens), two contested Court of Appeals positions, and every contested Superior Court election in Washington.

The judicial elections that will appear on your ballot depend on your county of residence. Your best starting point at VotingforJudges is the Show My Elections page: Click on your county, and you will have up-to-date information on judicial elections that will appear on your ballot at all court levels.

We are adding more information as it becomes available. Once again this year, VotingforJudges will be your most complete source for impartial judicial election information. Tell your friends and colleagues!


Streaming video of Supreme Court candidate forums and newspaper editorial board interviews can now be found for Position 3, Position 4, and Position 7.

Many newspaper endorsements are now available.


The American Bar Association honored VotingforJudges with its 2007 Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, in the "New Media" category. In addition, the Atlanta-based Foundation for Improvement of Justice presented one of its Paul H. Chapman Justice Awards for 2007 to VotingforJudges.

Paul Fjelstad, the Kitsap attorney who designed and provides ongoing updates to VotingforJudges, was honored with the 2007 King County Bar Association President's Award for his work. 

Numerous newspaper editorials have praised and recommended this site.


There were only three judicial elections in 2007. In general, judicial elections are held in odd-numbered years only when it is necessary to fill a vacancy, or when a temporary executive appointment has been made during the year.

  • Lewis County elected a Superior Court judge to replace Judge H. John Hall, who retired at the end of July. Two candidates filed for the office; in the November general election, Jim Lawler defeated Sherry Peterson.  Because all Superior Court positions are up for election in 2008, Judge Lawler will have to run again in 2008 for a full four-year term.
  • Clallam County elected a Superior Court judge to a newly-created third position this fall. Four candidates ran in the August 21 primary. Because Brooke Taylor received more than 50% of the votes cast, he ran without opposition the November ballot. Because all Superior Court positions are up for election in 2008, Judge Taylor will have to run again in 2008 for a full four-year term.
  • In Division III, District 1, of the Court of Appeals, Judge Debra Stephens was appointed by the governor to fill a vacancy, and she took office in May 2007. Although she was required to stand for election later in the year, no other candidate filed for her position, so she appeared on the November ballot unopposed. Voters in Ferry, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Stevens counties are included in this district. This election was for a one-year unexpired term. Although Judge Stephens was elected to her Division III post, in December 2007, Governor Gregoire appointed her to the Supreme Court. To fill the resulting vacancy on the Division III bench, the governor appointed Kevin Korsmo to the Court of Appeals, and he will be up for election to a full six-year term in the fall of 2008.

Beginning in 2007, the primary election was moved from the third Tuesday in September to the third Tuesday in August, so the 2007 primary election date was August 21; ballots were mailed August 1. The general election was held on the more traditional date of November 6; ballots were mailed October 17.

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As the election approaches, will include ratings and endorsements from numerous organizations. We provide this information so that voters will be better informed about the candidates. We do not rate or endorse any candidates; the ratings and endorsements of organizations included at this site reflect the views of those individual organizations and not necessarily the views of or its sponsors.