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Despite ‘Soft-On-Crime’ Attacks, Incumbents Leading In Supreme Court Races

Harvey Barrison
Flickr -
Washington Temple of Justice

Three incumbent Washington Supreme Court justices appear headed to easy re-election. Justices Mary Yu, Barbara Madsen and Charlie Wiggins are all leading their challengers by double digit margins.

Wiggins was targeted for defeat by a group of wealthy Washingtonians led by southwest Washington billionaire Ken Fisher. A PAC they funded ran soft-on-crime TV ads against Wiggins. Meanwhile his challenger got a lot of help from another PAC funded by Paul Allen’s Vulcan and Bill Gates and others. Even so, Wiggins had 58 percent of the vote in early returns.

The Supreme Court races got extra attention this year because of the ongoing school funding case known as McCleary and the court’s decision to throw out voter-approved charter schools.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."