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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Supreme Court, Position 6

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
G. Helen Whitener (N) 2,263,513 66.50%
Richard Serns (N) 1,140,338 33.50%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

The Candidates

G. Helen Whitener

Party:
No party
Age:
56
City:
University Place, Washington
Occupation:
Incumbent Supreme Court justice

Education: Earned bachelor's degree in business administration and international marketing from Baruch College in New York in 1988. Earned law degree from Seattle University School of Law in 1998. 

Work experience: Appointed to Washington State Supreme Court by Gov. Jay Inslee in April 2020. Previously served as Superior Court Judge in Pierce County, and as judge for the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals from 2013-2015. Practiced law as a deputy prosecutor and defense attorney from 1999-2015. 

Political experience: Elected to Pierce County Superior Court in 2015. Co-chair of the Washington State Minority & Justice Commission. 

Family: Married to Lynn Rainey. 

Richard Serns

Party:
No party
Age:
69
City:
Winlock, Washington

Education: Earned master's degree in school administration from Walla Walla University. Earned doctorate in education policy and management from the University of Oregon in 1997. Earned law degree from University of Washington Law School in 1999. 

Work Experience: Retired as superintendent of schools in Winlock, Washington, in June 2019 after serving since 2016. Spent prior 17 years working as teacher and administrator in the Federal Way school district.

Political Experience: First run for elected office. 

Family: Married to Valerie. Three adult children and five grandchildren. 

Complete Coverage

Whitener and Montoya-Lewis easily retain their Washington Supreme Court seats; Staab wins appeals court race

Spokane County voters cast ballots in three contested judicial races in this election. One is for a seat on the state’s Court of Appeals, and two are for seats on the Washington Supreme Court. 

Supreme Court Justice Helen Whitener defends seat against former school administrator Richard Serns

Whitener was appointed to her seat in April by Gov. Jay Inslee, while Serns only recently passed the bar exam, qualifying him to run for the court under the state Constitution. 

Pierce County judge named to Washington Supreme Court

Pierce County Superior Court Judge G. Helen Whitener was appointed Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee to the Washington Supreme Court.