Three qualified attorneys, one open seat for
Superior Court Judge
As the citizens of Lake Stevens and surrounding communities prepare to make their voting decisions to select the top two candidates for Superior Court Judge, Position Six, we had the opportunity to speak with two of the three candidates, and here’s what they had to say.
“I have, and I think most lawyers have in the back of their minds, that at some point I would be qualified enough to be on the bench,” candidate Joe Wilson said. “My dad was a judge before me, and my godfather was a judge before me, and I grew-up around them; I worked for them, and I know what it takes.”
Wilson is currently a private practice lawyer with more than 14 years of experience.
Thus far during Wilson’s career, he has amassed a list of professional endorsements and community services that he has become passionate about like the Snohomish County Center for Battered Women.
Wilson says he has a lot to offer the community.
“I thought that with my background, community service and my work in Snohomish County that I would be a good judge- I have a lot to offer, so I’m offering it” he said.
As for his endorsements, Wilson says he looks at them as “folks” who know him from a legal perspective, “…like the judges that endorse me,” and from a personal view through his volunteer work in the community.
When asked what all his endorsees would say about him, Wilson summed it up as follows.
“I think they would say basically kind of what Judge Thorpe (retiring Superior Court Judge Richard Thorpe) says; I’m competent in my work, when I try a case I try it because there’s an issue that needs to be solved and not because I want to go to trial, and that I have deep and long roots of community service in my community, and that I’m fair, honest, and that I have good integrity.”
Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Snohomish County, George Appel says that most of his work is already done in the court which he is seeking election to.
“For 15 years, much as I have enjoyed my job, I have observed that everything comes down to the decision maker in the end. The best arguments in the world come down to the decision maker whether that person is on his toes and paying attention and following the law and so forth; following the rules,” he said. “ I’ve seen a lot of good judging, seen some bad judging, but it has made a huge difference to me in my practice as a trial prosecutor that decisions that are rendered be as good as they can be, recognizing that they can’t possibly be all good decisions, sometimes the decision to be rendered is the least bad decision; recognizing also that I didn’t deserve to win every argument, but I have always appreciated when the judge was willing to undertake the work and listen, analyze and render the decision which is what his job calls for. I think I can do that, I think it’s a way that I can serve, I think I can serve that way well, and I think it’s crucial that that job be performed well,” Appel said.
He further went on to explain that it is those decisions of a judge that go on to affect people’s lives, and that he wants to see that it is done well.
“In short, I consider it a very important function, and want to see it done well, and I believe I can.”
He added that his current work is highly relevant to what he is seeking to do, and has dealt with many of the judicial issues.
Modestly, both attorneys said they do not consider themselves to be the best attorney for the job, but they feel they are the most qualified and the best of the candidates for the position of Superior Court Judge, Position Six.
We were unable to reach the third candidate, Jim Johanson for an interview, but feel it is important for the readers to know a little about him and who he is.
Johanson currently has a law office in Edmonds, Wash., and has served for Pierce and King Counties as a prosecutor and for the City of Lynnwood as an Assistant City Attorney.
He has also served as a Washington State Representative for the 44th Legislative District in the early 1990’s, and was House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair.
Johanson too has a long list of endorsements from various groups, committees, and community members.
An excerpt taken from Johanson’s website quotes Aaron Reardon, Snhomish County Executive saying, “Jim Johanson knows the law. He has prosecuted criminals as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, helped write and pass laws as a State Representative, and has represented clients in civil litigation cases.”
Voters are encouraged to research their candidates by going to www.votingforjudges.org