Politics blog

Judicial candidates won't land on ballot until November

OlympianMay 16, 2014 

Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu speaks at a court reception after Gov. Jay Inslee appointed her May 1 to fill the vacancy left one day earlier by the retirement of Justice Jim Johnson.

RACHEL LACORTE — The Associated Press

Filing week ended at 5 p.m., and it looks like a pretty free ride for judicial candidates. Too few candidates filed for Supreme Court and Court of Appeals races to trigger an Aug. 5 primary.

So Supreme Court Justices Mary Yu and Mary Fairhurst move directly to the Nov. 4 ballot without opposition. Yu is a brand new appointee of liberal Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who named her to the court on May 1 to replace the court's most conservative member, Jim Johnson, who resigned for health reasons.

In two other races that also skip ahead to November, Justice Charles Johnson faces Eddie Yoon and Debra Stephens faces John (Zamboni) Scannell, the disbarred attorney. Yoon is a lawyer who lives in University Place and teaches at a university in South Korea.

Under state law, top court candidates avoid the August runoff in judicial races if two or fewer candidates run. This is the result of legislation aimed at saving counties money, according to the Office of the Secretary of State.

Similarly, only Lisa Sutton of Olympia filed for an open seat on the Court of Appeals, Division II, representing Thurston County and the Olympic Peninsula. That means Sutton, a Thurston County Superior Court judge, goes alone to the November ballot.

Three other Court of Appeals judges serving Pierce County in Division II also avoided opponents and are assured of an easy re-election. They are Brad Maxa of Tacoma, Lisa Worswick of Puyallup and Linda Lee of Steilacoom.

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