Archived Version: August 19, 2008

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Our picks for judicial races

Sunday, August 10, 2008 Contested judicial races in Superior Court, the state Court of Appeals regional district and the state's Supreme Court will be facing Kitsap County voters in the Aug. 19 primary election.

Our editorial board is endorsing Jeanette Dalton for Kitsap County Superior Court, Robin Hunt for re-election to the Court of Appeals, and Justices Mary Fairhurst and Charles Johnson for the state Supreme Court. In each of the races, any candidate receiving more than 50 percent of the primary votes is elected, without having to run in November's general election.

Issuing their decisions in local and state courts, judges often exert a stronger influence on our lives and laws than any other elected officials. However, for decades judicial elections were a disturbing question mark for voters, who had no user-friendly sources of information about candidates.

But in recent years, that's changed. In 2006, votingforjudges.org was launched, providing comprehensive information on all judicial races in the state. In addition, candidate responses to our questionnaires, plus links to other information, can be found on the Kitsap Sun's elections site, elections.kitsapsun.com. We strongly urge voters to make use of those resources.

In recent weeks, our editorial board has reviewed information from those sources and interviewed candidates for the contested local and regional races.

Here are our recommendations:

Kitsap County Superior Court: Running for an open seat are attorneys Jeanette Dalton, Bruce Danielson and Greg Wall. Our board was favorably impressed by Dalton and Wall, both of whom are qualified and capable candidates. We're endorsing Dalton because of her wide-ranging experience as a former deputy prosecutor and currently as a criminal defense attorney, plus handling civil cases and having served as a judge pro tem.

Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 2, Dist. 2: This court handles appeals cases from the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, plus Thurston and Grays Harbor counties. Incumbent Judge Robin Hunt is challenged by Tim Ford, assistant state attorney general for government accountability. Ford has served the public well at the attorney general's office, but clearly can't match the incumbent's qualifications. Hunt, a Bainbridge Island resident, has heard more than 3,000 cases during her 11 years on the Court of Appeals, and prior to that had argued 40 cases in that court. She also has a commendable record of civic and community involvement. We strongly endorse her re-election.

Washington State Supreme Court: Justices Mary Fairhurst and Charles Johnson have served capably, are facing unimpressive opponents, and have earned re-election to the state's highest court.


 
 

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As the election approaches, Votingforjudges.org 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 votingforjudges.org or its sponsors.