Voters can't make a bad choice in Superior Court race

One of the things that the three candidates for Snohomish County Superior Court, Position 6, all agreed upon, July 24, when meeting with the editorial board of The Marysville Globe and Arlington Times, was that whomever was elected to the position would have to face a number of very difficult decisions when adjudicating the cases which come before them.

And because of their skills, knowledge and experience, Joe Wilson, George Appel and Jim Johansen presented The Marysville Globe and Arlington Times editorial board with a very difficult decision when it came down to deciding whom to endorse in the upcoming Aug. 19 primary election.

After meeting with the candidates for more than an hour and discussing the possible endorsements amongst ourselves for just as long, the unanimous conclusion was that local voters were very fortunate to have these three candidates running for public office. Any one of the three would be an excellent judge, capable of handling the complex and diverse criminal and civil cases which they would be facing if elected. The collective view of the editorial board was that each of the three would a very good judge, but our task was to select two to endorse to move on to the general election (under the current system, unless a candidate gets 50 percent plus one of the votes cast, the top two move on to the general election). So the editorial board Stuart Chernis, publisher and editor; Scott Frank, managing editor; and reporters Tom Corrigan and Danielle Szulczewski faced off to make the endorsements. It was not an easy task. The candidates were all extremely qualified and they would all be a very good judge.

In the first round of voting by the editorial board, it unanimously endorsed Joe Wilson to move on to the general election in the race for Position 6 of the Snohomish County Superior Court. Wilson's extensive legal experience in many aspects of both criminal and civil law make him well suited for the position. He has also served as a Judge Pro Tem in both the Cascade and Evergreen District Courts.

Candidates Appel and Johanson had the board evenly split as to whom to endorse to move on to the general election to face off against Wilson.

The board split along the most significant difference between the two candidates their experience. Appel, has spent the past 15 years as a Prosecuting Attorney, prosecuting diverse cases from misdemeanors to felonies and has also served as a Judge Pro Tem. Johanson started his career in the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's office, King County Prosecutor's Office and worked as an Assistant City Prosecutor for the city of Lynnwood. He then worked for Community Transit as its Legislative Director and then was elected to the state House of Representatives. Since 1995, Johanson has had his own law firm in Snohomish County.

Two of the board members felt that Appel's extensive courtroom experience gained while working as a prosecuting attorney would give him the background and insight that would make him a very good judge. The other two board members felt that Johanson's diverse experience from being a prosecutor, to being a legislator, to being in private practice gave him unique qualifications and insights to sit on the bench.

After much discussion and several more tied votes, the board was able to agree the second endorsement should go to Jim Johanson.

While we're giving our endorsement to Joe Wilson and Jim Johanson to move on to the general election to face off for Position 6 of the Snohomish County Superior Court, we also feel that George Appel is well qualified and would also do a great job if elected.

Snohomish County voters are very lucky in this race, whomever they elect will be a capable and outstanding judge.

Fore more information about the candidates, check out their Web sites: Joe Wilson at www.joewilsonforjudge.com; Jim Johanson at www.johansonforjudge.com, and George Appel at www.georgeappelforjudge.com.

To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Stuart Chernis or Scott Frank e-mail forum@marysvilleglobe.com.

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