Redmond City Council member Kim Allen announced Friday she will challenge Douglass North for his position as a King County Superior Court judge.
Allen, who has served on the council for seven years, said North has been away from the courtroom with illness since the beginning of this year. Although she emphathizes with his circumstances, Allen said she thinks it's time for someone else to step in.
"I just don't think we have the resources to keep the courtroom empty with the case load that we have," Allen said.
Currently employed as a land-use attorney and hearing examiner, Allen has also served as a criminal prosecutor, civil litigator and assistant attorney general. She has heard and decided more than 100 land-use cases around the Puget Sound region, according to a campaign news release.
“My years as a council member listening to the people I represent make me a very good listener, which is a key skill for a judge,” Allen said in the release.
Allen said she was disturbed by North's actions during a high-profile rape case in which one of the defendent's victims threatened to jump from the roof of the King County Courthouse rather than allow her rapist—who was representing himselft—to cross-examine her.
Although the defendent was legally permitted to cross-examine witnesses to the case, Allen said she believes North allowed the nature of the questioning to get out of hand.
"It's a judge's job to control the courtroom," she said.
Allen has two children and lives with her husband in downtown Redmond. More information is available on her campaign website.
Other Redmond residents file for judicial positions
Allen is not the only Redmond resident to file as a judicial candidate for a King County Superior Court position this week.
Marianne Jones, currently serving as a judge pro tem in King County District Court, is joining two other challengers in a bid to unseat Judge Chris Washington from Pos. 42. According to her campaign website, Jones has worked as a civil litigation attorney for 20 years and would like to make King County's court system more efficient and better capable of serving all citizens.
Judge J. Wesley St. Clair, also a Redmond resident, filed for re-election to Pos. 17. He did not draw any challengers during candidate filing week, which ended Friday.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of time Judge North has been on leave. Redmond Patch regrets the error.