Port Townsend attorney Noah Harrison, left, with District Court judge-elect Mindy Walker. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend attorney Noah Harrison, left, with District Court judge-elect Mindy Walker. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Walker heads for District Court judgeship

PORT TOWNSEND — Mindy Walker is the apparent winner in the race for Jefferson County District Court judge.

Walker had 9,973 votes to Noah Harrison’s 7,341 votes — a 57.6 percent to 42.4 percent cushion — after the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office announced a second count of ballots on Wednesday after Tuesday’s initial count.

“I was very pleased, and a little surprised, at the number,” Walker said. “I’m very grateful to my supporters.”

Walker was congratulated by her opponent when the results were announced at the courthouse Tuesday night.

“I appreciated that very much,” Walker said in a Wednesday interview.

The Auditor’s Office is expected to announce another ballot tally Friday.

Walker, 42, and Harrison, 44, were political newcomers vying to replace retiring jurist Jill Landes, who did not seek a fourth four-year term.

Harrison, a Port Townsend attorney who has been a substitute judge in Jefferson County for seven years, was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Walker, a partner in the firm Ramirez & Walker Inc., of Bainbridge Island and Port Townsend, has practiced law in Jefferson, Clallam, King, Mason, Pierce, Kitsap, Skagit, Snohomish, Pierce, Kittitas, Lincoln and Spokane counties.

The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, native has served as judge pro-tem on Bainbridge Island and has provided criminal defense in federal court.

Walker, who will be sworn-in in January, said she would work with the current District Court staff to ensure a smooth transition.

“I’m very pleased, and I want to thank all my supporters and the volunteers who put in a lot of hard work to assist me in my campaign,” Walker said.

“I look forward to being the next District Court judge.”

The District Court judge has jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases, criminal traffic violations including driving under the influence and small-claims civil cases.

The judge earns $164,313, not including benefits, and oversees a budget that was $895,076 in 2018 and funded nine full-time-equivalent positions

“I’m excited to serve Jefferson County,” Walker said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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