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Walla Walla Union-Bulletin




Lohrmann is choice in close contest for Superior Court

His opponent, Richard Wernette, is certainly a solid choice for judge, but we give the edge to John Lohrmann because of his vast community service.

By the Editorial Board of the Union-Bulletin

Sunday, August 4, 2008Walla Walla County voters face a difficult choice in the Aug. 19 election. Both candidates to fill the Superior Court judge position being vacated by retiring Robert Zagelow will do an excellent job.

John Lohrmann and Richard Wernette have the intelligence and experience necessary to serve on the bench.

This creates a dilemma, albeit a good one, for voters. They have a tough choice to make, but they simply can’t go wrong.

Lohrmann and Wernette each bring strengths to the position.

Wernette has a strong background in criminal law after working as a criminal defense attorney for 22 years. Since about 80 percent of the Superior Court’s work involves criminal or family law, Wernette’s knowledge and experience should not be overlooked.

Lohrmann has 31 years of legal experience (nine more than Wernette), mostly in civil law. Still, he is no stranger to the courtroom. He has taken many cases to trial over the past three decades.

While we see Wernette’s criminal experience as an advantage — at least for the first few months on the job — we don’t see it as an overwhelming advantage. Lohrmann clearly understands law and his extensive civil experience, including some complex cases, will serve him well in the area of interpretting criminal law. Beyond that, Lohrmann does have some experience with criminal law. Lohrmann has filled in for the Superior Court judges on occasion. He has also filled in as District Court judge.

Wernette, too, fills in for Superior Court judges. He currently serves as College Place Municipal Court Judge and as a Superior Court commissioner, which essentially means he regularly fills in when the judges are away.

But what separates the two candidates is community service. Lohrmann now serves and has served on a number of volunteer boards and has been actively involved in a variety of community efforts over the past three decades. His roots are planted firmly in the community.

We see Lohrmann’s vast community service as an advantage in this race. First, it demonstrates he truly cares about Walla Walla and its people.

More importantly, however, Lohrmann understands the people of this Valley. He is in touch with their values.

A judge must do more than comb through law books. He must assess situations and make fair judgements. Being a Superior Court judge requires a deep understanding of people.

We have no doubt that Lohrmann’s 30-plus years of law and the depth of his community involvement have prepared him very well for this important task.

It is for this reason that we give the edge in this very close contest to Lohrmann.

We believe Lohrmann will serve the people of Walla Walla County extremely well now and in the future., P.O. Box 1460, Silverdale, WA  98383
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