Patrick Moriarty, Mary Anderson and Jody Cloutier (Photos provided by candidates)

Patrick Moriarty, Mary Anderson and Jody Cloutier (Photos provided by candidates)

Moriarty leads Anderson in race for Superior Court judge

As votes rolled in Tuesday, incumbent Judge Patrick Moriarty and challenger Mary Anderson appeared set to advance.

EVERETT — In the race for a Snohomish County Superior Court seat, incumbent Judge Patrick Moriarty and his opponent Mary C. Anderson appear set to square off in the general election.

In May 2022, Gov. Jay Inslee added two Superior Court judges in Snohomish County, but Tuesday’s primary put the choice in the people’s hands for the first time.

Initial primary election totals Tuesday showed incumbent Patrick Moriarty leading a three-way race with 42.1% of the vote.

Anderson, a judge pro tem and attorney, garnered 34%, and Jody Cloutier, a former-cop-turned-lawyer, trailed with 23.6%.

Candidates for the other new judicial seat skipped the primaries, as there are only two people in the race. Incumbent Miguel Duran and Brett Rogers, who ran for prosecutor as a Republican in 2022, will compete in November.

Superior Court judges oversee felony criminal cases, juvenile cases and a wide range of civil cases from personal injury to family law. Judges are paid about $203,000 annually, plus $69,000 in benefits. They serve a four-year term.

On Wednesday, The Herald spoke with Moriarty and Anderson about their campaigns moving forward.

Patrick Moriarty

Moriarty, 58, has worked worked in Snohomish County for 30 years.

He was a public defender before spending 17 years as a judge pro tem in district and municipal courts. In 2018, he was appointed as a Superior Court commissioner, and last year, Inslee appointed him to this current position.

He said he has the decades of experience necessary to fulfill this role, and the track record to prove his sound judgement.

“I have the support of every sitting judge in our county,” Moriarty said. “Many of the retired judges have also endorsed me. I have the endorsement of law enforcement, first responders, labor, three mayors from some of our biggest communities, as well as county and city council members.”

Moriarty said the position is not about himself, but about his proven ability to accurately reflect the laws and give people a fair shake.

“We can’t talk about issues that come before the bench. We can’t be partisan. And sometimes, I think that irks people,” Moriarty said. “But I think it comes down to my experience, service in this community and my endorsements.”

He also wanted to make one thing clear:

“Judges don’t insert our personal agendas or our personal philosophy into our decisions,” Moriarty said. “Our job is to take the facts and apply the law of the case to the facts of the case. … Despite what we think the law ought to be or what we think personally. That’s the oath we take, and we have to abide by it.”

Mary C. Anderson

Anderson, 49, has spent the past 40 years in Snohomish County. Law is her third career.

She had her own mortgage brokerage firm and worked as a licensed real estate agent before attending law school and opening her firm, Guidance to Justice. Since February 2022, she has served as judge pro tem on the Everett District Court. She has handled over 1,700 cases.

If elected, she would be the first Black woman to serve as judge at any level in the county’s history.

“I think that would just be celebrated — to allow the judiciary to be more reflective of its community,” Anderson said.

Anderson said “a lot” separates her and Moriarty.

“First and foremost, I am a trial attorney at heart,” Anderson said. “Additionally, I have appellate experience, both in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, and that’s really important, because I understand the importance of getting it right the first time.”

Anderson also cited her class action and federal practice experience.

“It’s the trial attorney who actually educates the judges on the issues and the law, and sometimes the judges will just rubberstamp the proposed order and not necessarily do legal analysis on the facts with the law,” Anderson said. “So my whole goal and desire is to make sure that in every opinion I write, everyone is one seen and heard and knows exactly why I’m ruling the way I’m ruling.”

She is endorsed by both the Republican and Democratic parties of Snohomish County.

“I bring all these different experiences to me on the bench, and I have a broad breadth of different avenues to pull from when I’m actually doing my legal analysis,” Anderson said. “I bring transparency, integrity and a unique perspective based on what I have done in my past and my lived experiences moving forward.”

Plus, she added, the 23.6% of the vote that Cloutier garnered is now fair game.

“This is a really close race,” Anderson said.

Kayla J. Dunn: 425-339-3449; kayla.dunn@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @KaylaJ_Dunn.

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