Four candidates, including two incumbents, plan to run for the three Superior Court judge positions up for election this fall.
Of the judges presently seated, Judge George Wood and Judge S. Brooke Taylor announced their intention to run for re-election. District Court Judge Erik Rohrer and County Hearing Examiner Chris Melly also intend to run.
Wood was elected to the position in 1992, defeating incumbent Grant Meiner, and has not faced an opponent in any election since.
Taylor was elected in a 2007 special election to add a third judge.
Judge Ken Williams, who also was elected in 1992, announced March 21 he will retire.
“When I first ran for judge in 1992, my hope, if the voters selected me, was that I would be able to serve for 20 years before I retired,” he said in a statement. “That time has passed quickly.”
Williams said he felt it important to let potential candidates know he won’t be seeking re-election so they can be prepared to file for candidacy.
As Williams announced his retirement, Wood announced his intention to seek a sixth term. Wood, a Clallam County resident since 1974, worked as a partner in the Port Angeles law firm of Platt, Irwin, Taylor, Colley, Oliver and Wood before being elected as a Superior Court judge.
Taylor announced his candidacy April 2. The lifelong Clallam County resident served as Clallam County prosecuting attorney from 1971-1975 and spent 38 years in private practice.
Rohrer announced March 22 his intention to run for Superior Court judge, though he did not specify which position he would seek.
“I have extensive experience in Superior Court both as an attorney and as a Superior Court commissioner,” said Rohrer, the three-term district court judge.
Rohrer came to the peninsula as an assistant attorney general in 1991 to help establish the first local Attorney General’s office, he said in a news release. He was appointed to the Clallam County District Court II position previously held by Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens.
Following his appointment, Rohrer was elected to the position of District Court II judge three times.
Melly, who served as a prosecutor in King County and Clallam County for a combined 25 years, said he will run for Williams’ seat.
A Vietnam War veteran and District Court commissioner for seven years, Melly said he thinks his experiences give him a world view to make good decisions about people’s lives as a judge.
Candidates will file officially for the November election in May.
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.