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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Shelley Szambelan keeps seat on Spokane County Superior Court; Patrick Johnson elected District Court judge

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Shelley Szambelan, left, and attorney Dennis Cronin participate in a candidate forum hosted by the Coalition of Color on Oct. 9, 2018. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Shelley Szambelan will remain a judge on the Spokane County Superior Court, having won nearly 60 percent of the vote in her race against attorney Dennis Cronin.

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Szambelan to fill a vacancy on the Superior Court bench in February. She previously spent nine years as a Spokane Municipal Court judge and has been ranked “exceptionally well qualified” by the Spokane Bar Association.

Cronin, who has worked in private practice for more than 30 years, argued during his campaign that the Superior Court is dysfunctional in various ways.

In another race, Patrick Johnson was elected as a Spokane County District Court judge, beating Randy Brandt with about 59.5 percent of the vote.

Johnson, a Spokane County deputy prosecutor, was the front-runner coming into the general election, having topped Brandt and a third candidate, Lynden Smithson, in the August primary.

Brandt had been hoping to serve as a judge for a second time. He was appointed to the District Court bench in 2011 but lost his seat in an election in 2014.