Party: No party
City: Spokane, Washington
Political experience: Worked on a few judicial campaigns, including those of District Court Judge Debra Hayes and former Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt.
Work experience: Performed ministerial tasks at the Witherspoon-Kelley Law Firm while attending Gonzaga School of Law. Worked in the district court unit of the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office from August 2003 to September 2004. In October 2004, began working as a deputy prosecutor at the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where he remained until taking the Superior Court judge position in 2017. While there, he prosecuted everything from misdemeanors to felony murder trials. Former president of the Spokane County Bar Association.
Family: Unmarried, no children.
Top priorities: Hazel says he works to ensure everyone is afforded the due process guaranteed by the Constitution and that they have access to the justice system. He says he prioritizes making decisions that keep the community safe, including working with police and prosecutors on smart, efficient ways to cut down on crime while taking into consideration everyone’s constitutional rights. Says he strives to take his oath of following the law seriously and always uphold the Constitution.
|Tony Hazel (N)||57,282||61.55 %|
|Jocelyn Cook (N)||35,782||38.45 %|
The race for a Spokane County Superior Court judgeship is partly about the race itself. Jocelyn Cook, who is vying to unseat incumbent Judge Tony Hazel in the November election, argues that the process of voting for a judge – an elected official who should be impartial and devoid of party affiliation – is a deeply flawed procedure.
Tony Hazel finished first in the primary to hold his Spokane County Superior Court seat, but he’ll likely have to face Jocelyn Cook to keep it.
All three Superior Court candidates were impressive, but Tony Hazel did receive higher evaluations and has shown leadership on criminal justice reforms.
When Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza died unexpectedly this year, several members of Spokane’s legal community threw their hat in the ring to fill the vacancy left by the longtime and well-respected presiding judge. In May, then-deputy prosecutor Tony Hazel rose above the rest of the applicants after being selected by Governor Jay Inslee as Cozza’s replacement. Many expected the ensuing election later this year to feature only one name on the ballot.
Tony Hazel was sworn in as Spokane County’s newest Superior Court judge.
Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Spokane County prosecutor Tony Hazel to the Spokane County Superior Court Tuesday, filling the seat left vacant by the late Sam Cozza.