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State of Washington

Judicial Campaigns and Elections: Washington

Campaign Oversight

The King County Bar Association has adopted guidelines for the conduct of campaigns for judicial office. Judicial candidates are asked to agree in writing to become familiar with and abide by the guidelines and all applicable laws and regulations. Judicial candidates are also asked to agree to "cause those managing [their] campaign[s] to read this Agreement and to abide by its terms." The bar has also created a fair campaign practices committee to probe complaints of unfair judicial campaign conduct or violations of the guidelines.

 In early 2008, the Washington Committee for Ethical Judicial Campaigns was formed. Its members include lawyers, retired judges, and other citizens. The committee's purpose is to help ensure that judicial campaigns "are run with integrity and fairness by candidates who adhere to the highest ethical standards." Candidates are asked to sign a pledge regarding the conduct of their campaigns, and the committee will publicize their agreement or refusal to do so. The committee will monitor campaign advertisements and literature, request that improper ads be withdrawn or disavowed, and may make public statements regarding the ads at issue.