Lowry Choices: Win One, Lose One -- Macinnes, Burrage Will Fill Out Terms
Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Charged with choosing two new judges for King County Superior Court from crowded fields and without the benefit of a primary election, the county's voters made two quite different choices.
For one seat, they chose Nicole MacInnes, who was nominated for the post by Gov. Mike Lowry and won top ratings from other lawyers and judges.
For the other, they rejected Lowry's choice and instead elected Jeanette Burrage, who was rated by the King County Bar Association as the least qualified in the field but who has a following among property-rights advocates.
MacInnes will finish the unexpired term of Judge James McCutcheon, who died after the September primary election. Burrage is filling the unexpired term of Judge Arthur Piehler, who retired.
Both new judges will have to run again next year.
MacInnes attributed her victory both to winning endorsements from newspapers and bar associations, and to years as a judge and prosecutor.
"I was the only one with judicial experience," said MacInnes.
MacInnes spent 11 years as a prosecutor and the past six as a Seattle Municipal Court judge.
She faced five challengers in the election, including Peter Camp, Theresa Gibbons, Will Patton and Alexander Wirt.
In addition to being rated "exceptionally well-qualified" by the King County Bar Association, the Washington Women Lawyers and other bar organizations, MacInnes was endorsed by about 50 judges and given the highest overall rating of the 10 Municipal Court judges in a recent poll of attorneys.
MacInnes said she hopes her victory in a six-person race will forestall any challenge at the poll next year.
"I think that means something, and will discourage future opponents," MacInnes said.
Burrage, however, has no such illusions.
She said she expects opposition and will start her re-election campaign by late spring or early summer.
It was Burrage's third judicial campaign in the space of a year. She was defeated last year for the state Supreme Court, and in the September primary for a position on the Court of Appeals.
But having run those other campaigns probably assured her victory yesterday, Burrage said.
"It helped that I had run recently for other judicial positions," she said. "I hope that will be an example to people not to give up on their goals."
Burrage not only defeated Tim Bradbury, Lowry's appointee, but also Seattle attorney Jeffrey Beaver, Seattle attorney Doug North and state Court of Appeals Commissioner Mary Ellen Hudgins.
Burrage has virtually no trial experience but ran a legal foundation that helped with appeals in property-rights cases. She is a Des Moines City Council member, former one-term state legislator and most recently has been a deputy prosecutor in Snohomish County.
Burrage said the bar association and other groups don't like her because of her conservatism.
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