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Olsen getting competition

Incumbent Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Sally Olsen received a last-minute election challenge on Friday when Port Orchard attorney Jonathan R. Morrison made his candidacy official just a little more than an hour before the filing deadline.

“I think it is my duty to run,” Morrison said. “I see a lot of our civil liberties slipping away. We need to protect these rights and punish people who are guilty. This is a delicate balance. But after the decisions, everyone should be better off.”

While he feels the courts are in good shape, he said he perceives some shortcomings and is not afraid to take action.

He has no direct criticism of Olsen’s job performance said his challenge is nothing personal.

He is only running against Olsen because it is the only open seat this year.

Port Orchard attorney David LaCross, who has known Morrison since both attended South Kitsap High School, said his friend is “very intelligent, cares about people and is dedicated to his clients. He has all the qualities of a good judge.”

LaCross, however, said he was not endorsing Morrison for the position, adding he has no complaint about Olsen’s rulings up to now.

Morrison, 39, was born and raised in Kitsap County. After working at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, he earned degrees in finance, philosophy and law.

He has worked in his current practice for the past four years, which is devoted exclusively to criminal work.

He and his wife Heidi have four children — Ashley, 17; Amanda, 14; Alek, 10 and Aiden, 18 months.

He has volunteered as a coach for many years and, as LaCross said, “had a great impact on these kids’ lives.”

Morrison said his 20 years as a coach has allowed him to develop considerable patience, a trait that will serve him well on the bench.

Olsen’s campaign co-chair Ed Wolfe, a Bremerton attorney, said Morrison’s candidacy will not change her strategy.

“We will continue contacting individuals for their support,” he said. “And we look forward to the challenge.” 

Port Orchard attorney Bruce Danielson, who was unsuccessful in an attempt to unseat Judge Anna Laurie, said Morrison has an uphill battle, noting “I don’t think any incumbent judge has ever been defeated in the county.”

Morrison, however, is optimistic.

“I have a good chance of winning,” Morrison said. “I will get the votes of the people who know me well.”

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