King County voters should elect Kristin Richardson, a senior deputy prosecutor, to Superior Court Position 52.

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TWO strong candidates are running for King County Superior Court judge Position 52, a seat being cleared by the retirement of Judge Bruce Heller.

Kristin Richardson, a King County senior deputy prosecutor, is running against Anthony Gipe, a civil lawyer who was president of the state bar association last year and a founding board member of Qlaw, the state’s LGBT bar association.

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Kristin Richardson

Kristin Richardson

Superior Court position 52

Strengths: Extraordinary experience in Superior Court as a trial lawyer for 25 years

Richardson has worked extensively with vulnerable witnesses and victims, people who 'didn’t know they could trust someone in the justice system and they ended up trusting me,' she said in an interview. ..."

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Both are respected Seattle lawyers, but Richardson is the better choice for judge because of her extraordinary experience in Superior Court as a trial lawyer for 25 years.

Richardson has handled more than 100 jury trials and is endorsed by dozens of current and former Superior Court judges, including Heller.

Gipe also has a lengthy list of endorsements and has served as a judge pro tem in King County District Court since 2015. He’s done pro tem work in municipal courts and has been a Superior Court arbiter.

The county bar association rates Gipe “well qualified” and Richardson “exceptionally well qualified.”

Richardson and Gipe are both committed to progressive issues professionally and through volunteer advocacy work.

Both are concerned about inequities in the justice system but note that Superior Court judges have limited discretion over sentencing, since ranges are prescribed.

Gipe said judges should seek political solutions and lobby as a group for improvements. Richardson said judges must be diligent to ensure nothing in their courtroom enables racism or bad policing.

On this front, Richardson has the edge. Her current job entails standing up to police when they seek filings she deems improper or inadequate.

As a prosecutor, Richardson has worked extensively with vulnerable witnesses and victims, people who “didn’t know they could trust someone in the justice system and they ended up trusting me,” she said in an interview.

While Gipe and Richardson both bring good perspectives, Richardson’s extensive court experience makes her the better choice for Superior Court judge Position 52.