For Islander Sue Parisien, running for judge in the King County Superior Court is a natural progression.
After more than two decades of litigation, it makes sense to want to go “from an advocate to mutual decision-making,” says the senior trial attorney for Zurich North America and former assistant attorney general.
Parisien is running for judge position No. 42 in an attempt to unseat Judge Christopher A. Washington, who has been on the bench for eight years. Parisien ran for a judge position once before, in 2008, but lost to Tim Bradshaw.
“The person in this job now needs to be replaced,” Parisien says. “That’s why I’m running.”
On the 2012 Judicial Performance Evaluation, a survey of judges by attorneys statewide, Judge Washington scored just 2.74 out of 5 in legal decision making.
Parisien cites her extensive trial law experience as key to her candidacy. Her opponents, Marianne Jones and David Ruzumna, are not as qualified, she says. “You have to have spent many years trying cases” to be a good judge, she says.
Parisien also touts her experience as an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law. “To a certain extent judges are teachers,” she says. “That’s an extra piece I’m proud to bring.”
Governor Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna have given her their blessings, and she won The Stranger’s endorsement.
Parisien has worked extensively with cases dealing with the state’s Department of Social and Health Services, and one of her goals as judge would be to better protect children.
“Sometimes these kids fall through the cracks,” she says. “I found many times when the court didn’t ask the right questions.”
Parisien sees room for making changes in the court system.
“There are opportunities for everyone to do better,” she says.
Contributed by JTNews. For more from the JT News election series, ‘Jews on the Ballot,’ go to www.JTNews.net.