Judges' Retirement Sets Off Scramble For Nov. 7 Election -- As Many As 8 Candidates Seek To Replace Tuai And Piehler In Superior Court Posts
The retirements of two longtime King County Superior Court judges have set off a mad scramble involving as many as eight candidates who have about six weeks to campaign for the Nov. 7 election.
Judges Liem Tuai and Arthur Piehler have announced they will both retire Oct. 9, the last day in which their positions could still be placed on the ballot.
The maneuver minimizes the impact of an appointment by Gov. Mike Lowry to temporarily fill a seat and bestow the "incumbent" tag.
Yesterday, Lowry did just that, naming Seattle attorney Tim Bradbury to fill Piehler's post and tapping Seattle Municipal Court Judge Nicole MacInnes to fill Tuai's.
Bradbury, 51, has served as a Superior Court arbitrator and a District Court pro-tem judge. He is also treasurer of the "Hands Off Washington" campaign, a gay-rights effort.
MacInnes, 50, has been a Municipal Court judge since 1989 and served for 11 years as a King County deputy prosecutor.
Both will begin Oct. 10.
Tuai said he wanted to see qualified candidates get a chance for election rather than see an appointee serve a year or more before facing possible opposition.
At least six other candidates have surfaced - Seattle attorneys Jeffrey Beaver, Peter Camp, Douglas North and Will Patton, Kirkland Municipal Court Judge Mariane Spearman and Court of Appeals Commissioner Mary Ellen Hudgins.
Camp placed third in Tuesday's vote for the vacancy left by the retirement of Carmen Otero.
Hudgins said she is concerned the short campaign period and wide-open races may short-change voters who under even normal circumstances are under-informed about judicial candidates.
Tuai has served on the King County bench since 1977. Piehler took office the following year.
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