Politics Blog

Governor’s office: New Whatcom judge named ‘by Christmas’

Today’s paper has a headline about renovations at the Whatcom County Courthouse to add a fourth courtroom, making room for a fourth Superior Court judge.

Inside that story about cost overruns on the $1 million renovation was a mention that the county will, indeed, have a fourth judge by the first of the year. He or she will join Deborra Garrett, Charles Snyder and Ira Uhrig.

The governor’s office today — Wednesday, Dec. 10 — confirmed it is close to a decision on that post.

“We should have an appointment by Christmas,” said Lisa Harper, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee. “We had several applicants, and they are in interviews next week.”

The new judge was approved by the state Legislature in 2013, with local legislators Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, sponsoring.

The state and county each pay half the salary of superior court judges, which will be $156,363 in 2015. The state pays for benefits, and the county pays all associated expenses, including additional staffing.