Wilson leads four others for Superior Court judge

EVERETT — Joe Wilson emerged Tuesday night as the frontrunner in the preliminary results of a five-way race for Snohomish County Superior Court judge.

Wilson had nearly 40 percent of the vote. The next closest contender was Rico Tessandore, who snagged about 29 percent. He was followed by David Hulbert with 16 percent, Scott Peterson with 8 percent and Scott Lord with 5 percent.

The position became available with the unexpected resignation of Judge James Allendoerfer in July. The veteran jurist died after a battle with brain cancer a couple of weeks after resigning.

There wasn’t enough time to put the race on the ballot for the primary election. The law allows for candidates to run for the position in the general election without a primary.

That made for an unusually crowded race for Tuesday’s election. On the ballot were: Joe Wilson, Rico Tessandore, Scott Peterson, Scott Lord and David Hulbert.

Wilson and Hulbert tried to win seats on the bench in separate races during last year’s election.

Wilson runs a private practice in Everett. Hulbert served on the bench for a dozen years before losing his seat to Judge Eric Lucas in 2004. Tessandore, a former deputy prosecutor, is a civil attorney for a Bellevue law firm. Peterson also is a private civil attorney. Lord is a Snohomish County deputy prosecutor and owner of The Majestic Cafe restaurant in Everett.

All five men pitched their legal experience as reason to chose them over their opponents.

Wilson received nearly $80,000 in contributions. Tessandore raised about $70,000. Hulbert came up with about $11,000. The other candidates didn’t claim any contributions, according to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission’s Web site.

The winner will fill the remaining three years of Allendoerfer’s term. The nonpartisan position pays $148,832. Half the money comes from the state and the county picks up the other half. The salary has been frozen since 2008 and is expected to remain frozen until at least next fall.

Debra Smith contributed to this story.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, dhefley@heraldnet.com

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