Politics blog

Thurston Judge Sutton kicks off campaign for Appeals Court on Monday

OlympianApril 18, 2014 

Lisa Sutton, a Thurston County Superior Court judge since 2010, is kicking off her campaign for a Court of Appeals position Monday with a 6:45 a.m. breakfast event at Red Lion Hotel in Olympia. 

Sutton, a former lawyer in the state Attorney General’s tort claims office, is seeking the court’s Division II -District 2 position. serving six counties including Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap. Three-term Appeals Court Judge J. Robin Hunt is retiring later this year and last month said she is endorsing Sutton’s campaign. 

“Judge Sutton has trial and appellate experience as an attorney, and superior court experience in all types of cases likely to be heard by the Court of Appeals,” Hunt said in a news release issued by Sutton. “Those qualities will serve the citizens and court well. I’m proud to endorse her for this position.”

Sutton has raised $1,383 for her campaign effort, according to data on file at the state Public Disclosure Commission. As of Friday afternoon, no one else has filed PDC paperwork for the position.

In her candidate announcement, Sutton cataloged her background this way:

Appointed in November 2010 to the Thurston County Superior Court Bench, Judge Sutton was re-elected in 2011 and 2012. She has served as the superior court’s Criminal Presiding Judge and as a civil trial judge. She now serves as the Presiding Family & Juvenile Court judge. In 2011, she graduated from the Washington Judicial College and the National Judicial College with distinction. Before joining the bench, Judge Sutton served as Senior Counsel and Assistant Attorney General for more than 24 years in the Washington Attorney General’s Office under Attorneys General Rob McKenna, Christine Gregoire and Ken Eikenberry. As a senior trial attorney and supervisor in the Torts Division, Sutton represented the state of Washington in federal and state courts at all levels in a variety of civil cases involving tort, contract, pension and health care benefits, education, civil rights, employment, and complex and class action litigation.

Judge Sutton is the judicial liaison for the Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services Clinic and also serves on a statewide committee to improve access to justice. She also serves on community boards, including Olympia Youth Chorus. She formerly served on boards for the Family Support Center and South Sound Briggs Branch YMCA.

Sutton volunteers for the Capital City Marathon, the YMCA Youth & Government state-wide Annual Mock Trial Competition and Law Day.  She also volunteers in local schools where she speaks to students about the role of the judiciary.

Election filing week at county auditors' offices is May 12-16.

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