Judgeseeking third term on Court of Appeals

Published on Thu, Aug 17, 2006 by Jack Kintner

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Judge seeking third term on Court of Appeals

By Jack Kintner

Washington State Court of Appeals Judge Mary Kay Becker is running for a third term on the Washington State Court of Appeals, division 1.

Her opponent is Bellingham attorney and political newcomer Jeff Teichert who was profiled in an earlier issue.

Judge Becker, 59, is concluding her second six-year term on the court. There are 22 appeals court judges statewide, of whom ten serve in division 1.

Of those, nine are elected out of King and Snohomish counties and one is elected by voters in Whatcom, Island, Skagit and San Juan counties. The non-partisan race will be decided on September 19 in the primary election, and mail-in ballots go out beginning August 30.

Becker, an Olympic Peninsula native and Bellingham resident for 37 years, served as chief judge in division one from 2002 to 2004 and also served a one-year term as presiding judge of the statewide Court of Appeals.

She served four terms in the Washington state legislature and two years as a Whatcom County Council member before being elected to the court of appeals for the first time in 1994. She was also on the Board of Trustees for Western Washington University (WWU) for five years, serving as its chairman.

She still lives in Bellingham “because most of the work is research and writing,” she said, “which I can do here.” She usually commutes by train when court is in session in Seattle, something she described as “relaxing and fun.”

Thirty-five judges and three court commissioners have endorsed Becker for re-election, including all the superior court judges in the four counties that will decide the race.

In addition, 14 of her colleagues on the appeals court, seven of the nine sitting state supreme court justices, all of the district court judges in Whatcom and Skagit counties and 10 other judges who either serve in other parts of the state or are retired.