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State Supreme Court Race Could Be McCloud, Sanders

Amy Radil

Early primary totals indicate that two advocates for defendants' rights could compete for the open seat on the Washington Supreme Court: Sheryl Gordon McCloud and Richard Sanders.


Four candidates had sought to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers. They included longtime King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer and former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. But primary night totals showed appellate defense lawyer Sheryl Gordon McCloud and former state Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders in the lead.

The two candidates share some of the same philosophies — McCloud even contributed to Sanders' campaign in 2010, when he narrowly lost his seat to Charlie Wiggins. McCloud has represented death row inmates and in May won a new trial for one of them, Darold Stenson.

Sanders says he champions the rights of the individual against the state and is a strong supporter of property rights, gun rights and religious freedom.

Bruce Hilyer's third–place showing so far is striking since he received by far the most newspaper endorsements and the highest candidate ratings. He also outspent his rivals. He currently lags about 12,000 votes behind Sanders.

I'm Amy Radil, KUOW News.

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