City: Spokane Valley, WA
Education: Graduated Monessen High School in Monessen, Pennsylvania in 1967. Earned bachelor’s in political science from Washington and Jefferson College in 1971. Earned law degree from Gonzaga Law School in 1976.
Professional experience: Appointed to Spokane County Superior Court in 1996, serving as presiding judge, juvenile court judge, family law judge and more. Currently works as chief criminal judge. Worked as a trial lawyer for the Spokane County Public Defender’s Office from 1979 until appointment. Previously worked part-time in private practice.
Political experience: Has run unopposed for superior court seat in every election since 1996 other than in 2004, when he defeated Michael D. Elston with 55 percent of the vote. Ran unsuccessfully for Spokane County District Court in 1984 and unsuccessfully sought appointment to district court in 1985 and Superior Court in 1995.
Family: Married. Has three stepchildren.
While it may be difficult to be called a rookie at age 59, Tim Fennessy said his fellow judges have gone overboard make his transition easier to the Spokane County Superior Court bench.
All four candidates involved in close races in Spokane County picked up more votes in Wednesday’s second count of ballots, but no one was able to make enough of a gain to change the outcome.
Early election results Tuesday night showed Judge Greg Sypolt, who’s been in office since 1996, losing to challenger Tim Fennessy, a civil attorney. Judge Linda Tompkins held on to her seat by a comfortable margin against challenger Ward Andrews.
A Spokane County Superior Court judge who’s been on the bench for more than 20 years faces a challenge from an experienced civil attorney who thinks the county’s highest court needs new perspective. Judge Greg Sypolt, who was appointed in 1996, is running against Tim Fennessy, who believes the court would benefit from having more judges with civil case experience.