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.
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 4, and
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.
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
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.