Politics & Government

New appointees to PDC include John Bridges, who decided governor’s election challenge in 2005, and Anne Levinson

Gov. Jay Inslee has named two retired judges, John Bridges of Wenatchee and Anne Levinson of Seattle, to the five-member state Public Disclosure Commission that regulates campaign finance issues in Washington.

Both appointees have had high public profiles: Bridges decided the legal challenge to the 2004 election that confirmed Chris Gregoire as governor; Levinson is a former municipal court judge, ex-chair of the state Utilities and transportation Commission, and leader in two referendum campaigns that upheld gay rights including marriage at the ballot box.

Bridges, an independent, becomes the first PDC commissioner who is neither Republican nor Democrat. Levinson is a Democrat.

“Labels aside, these appointees are former judges who have been strong leaders on behalf of public integrity, including in cases dealing with our state’s policy system,” Inslee’s chief spokesman David Postman said in an email. “They bring judicial acumen with (an) unquestionable history of being objective and independent.”

The twin appointments mark the first time the five-member commission will have only one Republican — former House member Katrina Asay of Milton, PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson said.

Bridges fills the vacancy left a year ago when the five-year term of Republican appointee Barry Sehlin of Oak Harbor ended.

Bridges, serving as Chelan County Superior Court judge, presided over Republican Dino Rossi’s challenge of the 2004 election results which had given Democrat Gregoire a 129-vote victory after a third ballot count. The judge faulted the work of elections officials, and based on evidence that four felons voted illegally for Rossi, he took those votes away from the Republican’s total, giving Gregoire a 133-vote margin of victory that was the closest in history for a governor’s race.

Levinson replaces Kathy Turner of Puyallup, whose term ends this month. Levinson will join fellow Democrats Grant Degginger of Bellevue and Amit Ranade of Seattle on the commission.

In an email to staff, PDC executive director Andrea McNamara Doyle noted that Levinson is a former deputy mayor of Seattle and was part owner of the Seattle Storm women’s basketball team. More recently, Levinson served as an independent auditor for the Seattle police Office of Professional Accountability.