October 12, 2010
Tucker, O’Brien for District Court judges
Few voters know just who to vote for when it comes to judicial candidates on their ballot. The closer to home, the more important the vote is — these are the judges you may very well meet for traffic tickets to misdemeanors.
The ballots this year include four choices for two District Court positions in the Northeast Division. Both of our recommended choices — Donna Tucker and John O’Brien — are preferred for the diversity of experience they bring to the job.
Tucker and Larry Mitchell are vying for Position 7.
Tucker’s broad experience is a huge bonus. While Mitchell has been the city prosecutor in Redmond for the past 16 years, Tucker has owned her own business, and has provided public defender services, in addition to serving as a pro-tem, or substitute, judge.
Her background translates into an understanding of the people who come into her courtroom. She is noted for seeing the good qualities in defendants and handing down creative sentences aimed at helping change behavior patterns for the positive. She also has a record of community involvement, from senior services and softball coach to a teacher of other attorneys.
For Position 6, we recommend O’Brien over Michael Finkle.
Finkle was appointed to the seat earlier this year, and is one of the few judges in King County considered an expert on mental health issues. But O’Brien has 15 years experience on the bench as a pro-tem judge and brings many of the same traits and experience we admire in Tucker — business owner (managing partner of his Issaquah law firm and co-owner of two private schools), community leader (president of the Issaquah Valley Grange and Issaquah Rotary Club and board member of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce), prosecuting attorney for nine years and court arbitrator for 23 years.
Most notably in the District Court’s Issaquah courthouse, judges in recent years have been chastised for questionable ethics and temperament.
We look to Tucker and O’Brien to help return respectability to the Northeast Division of King County’s District Court system.