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S. Kitsap attorney planning to run for judge

A Port Orchard attorney has announced his candidacy for the Kitsap County Superior Court, but is deferring his decision as to which of the eight positions to seek until the June 6 filing deadline.

Bruce Danielson, 55, currently a sole practitioner, began his campaign this week by filing financial disclosure paperwork and declaring his intention to run.

“People don’t understand how the decisions made by the Superior Court impact their daily lives,” Danielson said. “While many of these decisions go unnoticed, they are not unfelt.”

This is Danielson’s second run for the position. In 2004 he and another candidate filed against Anna Laurie, who was the only judge to draw opposition that year.

Currently, Danielson has not targeted a specific judge to oppose, although he indicated he will probably pursue an open seat should one of the judges choose to retire.

In 2004, all seven judges ran for re-election as a slate, after a joint announcement in the spring. Superior Court Administrator Frank Maiocco said the judges have not decided when to make this announcement or whether any of them will not seek another term.

The three judges with the longest terms of service are Leonard Costello (1992), M. Karlynn Haberly (1993) and Jay Roof (1994).

Bremerton attorney Ed Wolf said he was working on the re-election committees of Laurie (2001), Sally Olsen (2004) and Theodore Spearman (2004), so they will presumably not retire.

The remaining judges are Russell Hartman (2002) and Leila Mills (2000).

Danielson speculated that Roof or Costello were the most likely to retire. If this bears out, “I will continue to carry the standard of the good work they have done on the bench so far.”

While not singling out a specific judge, Danielson said the local bench “has room for improvement.

“The reason that we elect judges is that mere tenure does not make someone a good judge,” he said. “You cannot just drape a black robe on someone and expect them to behave in a moral and ethical manner.

“One of the things that need to be improved is the interaction of the judiciary with the citizens,” he said. “Judges need to be accessible to the people and not be in an ivory tower.”

Danielson said he will not solicit endorsements from local attorneys, because it “is like asking the players to weigh in about the referee.”

Danielson said he brings a wide variety of life experiences to the bench, commensurate with the diverse decisions required.

“It will be much easier to identify with the cases you here if you understand what it is like to push a broom or run a business,” he said.

Danielson is married to Kris Danielson, who ran for the Kitsap County Assessor in 2006 and just finished a three-year term on the Kitsap County Human Rights Council.

While she was mentioned as a potential candidate for South Kitsap commissioner, Bruce Danielson said he “will be the only Danielson on the ballot this year.”

This includes his daughter, Leta, whose term as president of her third grade class ends in June.

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