Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Two contested judicial races in Spokane result in two incumbent victories

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 12:19 PM

click to enlarge Tony Hazel, a former county deputy prosecutor appointed in April by Gov. Jay Inslee, will remain a Spokane County Superior Court Judge after defeating county public defender Jocelyn Cook by a wide margin.
  • Tony Hazel, a former county deputy prosecutor appointed in April by Gov. Jay Inslee, will remain a Spokane County Superior Court Judge after defeating county public defender Jocelyn Cook by a wide margin.

Two Spokane judges drew challengers in this year's election; both have retained their seats.

Spokane County Superior Court
Judge Tony Hazel defeated Spokane County public defender Jocelyn Cook, with 62 percent of the vote to Cook's 38 percent.

Hazel, a former Spokane County deputy prosecutor appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee in April to take the seat of the late Judge Sam Cozza, was endorsed by scores of jurists, including several judges in Spokane, state Supreme Court justices and at least 80 more attorneys.

Throughout her campaign, Cook sought to draw attention to what she believes is a flawed judicial appointment and election system in the state, asserting that those endorsements that Hazel touted as indicators of his qualifications for judges represent an inherent conflict of interest.

Spokane Municipal Court
Judge Tracy Staab defeated Adam Papini, a prosecutor who works in municipal court, with about 72 percent of the vote.

After announcing his campaign for judge, Papini was arrested in Cheney this past June on suspicion of driving drunk. His young son was in the back seat, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Papini virtually stopped campaigning after the arrest, but his name still appeared on the ballot. Although he didn't expect to win, Papini told the Spokesman that the experience has changed his perspective on the people he prosecutes.

Staab was appointed to the bench in 2009 by then-Mayor Mary Verner.

Municipal Court judges Mary Logan and Shelley Szambelan, also up for reelection, automatically retained their seats because no challengers came forward.
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