In a 2017 case, Superior Court Judge David Kurtz is shown telling a convicted murderer that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

In a 2017 case, Superior Court Judge David Kurtz is shown telling a convicted murderer that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Judge David Kurtz to step down from Superior Court in May

Kurtz has served on the bench since 2006. It will be up to Gov. Jay Inslee to appoint a successor.

EVERETT — After 15 years on the bench, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge David Kurtz plans to retire.

Kurtz, a former county prosecutor, disclosed his decision earlier this month in a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee.

“This letter is to formally advise you that I will ‘separate’ and effectively retire from my position as Snohomish County Superior Court Judge, Position 9, on May 31, 2021,” Kurtz wrote. “I pledge to work with you, your office, and others here, to facilitate the smooth selection of my successor. I do not intend to ‘endorse’ any particular candidate, and obviously it is properly your call to make in any event. But I am confident that you will have a number of qualified applicants from which to choose.”

Kurtz, 68, was appointed to become a judge Jan. 13, 2006, by then Gov. Chris Gregoire. Kurtz described that phone call as “a wonderful moment,” comparable to watching his alma mater — the University of Wisconsin where he earned his undergraduate degree and University of Washington where he attended law school — win the Rose Bowl. Kurtz grew up in Wisconsin.

Kurtz worked in private practice in Wenatchee before joining the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office in 1983. He worked as a deputy prosecutor until his 2006 judicial appointment.

“I am now over 68 years old, and the time has come to soon be hanging up my robe,” he wrote the governor.

”While there is much more to be done to better our court system and to improve equity and justice, there are many who are committed to advancing those vital goals,” he wrote. “I look forward in retirement to trying to contribute and be active in other ways, such as writing, running, volunteering, and spending more time with family and our grandkids.”

A spokesperson for the governor said the goal is to name a replacement for Kurtz before May 31.

The governor’s office has already issued the vacancy announcement and asked all interested applicants to submit their applications by April 5.

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