Voters should look more closely at court contests

The morning after the Sept. 19 primary election offered a few surprises as people picked up their newspapers and skimmed the results. Some of us had to read the numbers twice, especially in the state Supreme Court races.

Just where did Susan Owens, a Clallam County District Court judge, come from to top the list of seven candidates vying for position 2? Owens, the lone female in the race, garnered 26 percent of the vote. Her opponent on the Nov. 7 ballot, Yakima County Prosecutor Jeff Sullivan, earned 18 percent of the votes.

While we support and heartily encourage women in politics, it is hard to avoid wondering if some voters casually marked Owens’ name because she was the only woman running in that race. In fairness, her criss-cross tour of the state may have helped her campaign. And voters may be looking for someone outside the Seattle area to round out the bench.

But Jeff Sullivan is outstandingly well qualified and meets the need for more geographical diversity on the court. Sullivan has 29 years of experience in law, including criminal and civil cases. He has already argued two civil cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and offers the Eastern Washington perspective the current court lacks.

Name recognition or misapplication appears to have contributed to the results in position 9. Jim Foley and Tom Chambers managed to edge out a highly qualified state Court of Appeals judge, Ken Grosse. Perhaps voters are mistaking Jim Foley for former House Speaker Tom Foley. There’s no connection. Tom Chambers, a trial lawyer who has practiced just about every kind of law, deserves the majority vote on Nov. 7. Chambers brings an excellent record of community and professional leadership.

In the voting for position, voters made what was clearly the right choice. Bobbe J. Bridge, who has been referred to as one of the best things to happen on the court lately, received a well deserved vote of confidence with nearly 62 percent of the vote. As a result, her name will be the only one on the Nov. 7 ballot for the position.

SELECT *

FROM Talkback

WHERE Story LIKE ‘../Stories/00/10/2/13016597.cfm’

AND Dateverified LIKE ‘verified’

ORDER BY Dateposted

Talk back

Talk to us

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Monday, Feb. 6

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein received this card, by mail at her Everett home, from the Texas-based neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front.  The mail came in June, a month after Muhlstein wrote about the group's fliers being posted at Everett Community College and in her neighborhood.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)





(Dan Bates / The Herald)
Editorial: Treat violent extremism as the disease it is

The state Attorney General urges a commission to study a public health response to domestic terrorism.

Comment: End of covid emergency will carry costs for nearly all

Along with an end to free tests, the disease and its expenses will be treated like any other malady.

Comment: Wealth taxes carry too many drawbacks to help states

They discourage savings and investment and it’s difficult to set up a fair system of what they tax.

Comment: Biden’s stock market record pretty close to Trump’s

At similar points in their presidencies, most market measures show little difference between the two men.

Comment: Memphis officials can learn from Minneapolis’ mistakes

After the murder of George Floyd, there were promises of reform, but a lack of specifics stymied the effort.

Comment: Hounding justices’ spouses out of work step too far

Questioning the chief justice’s work as a legal recruiter serves no purpose toward the court’s ethics.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Feb. 5

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Photo Courtesy The Boeing Co.
On September 30, 1968, the first 747-100 rolled out of Boeing's Everett factory.
Editorial: What Boeing workers built beyond the 747

More than 50 years of building jets leaves an economic and cultural legacy for the city and county.

Most Read