Four lawyers seek open Washington County judgeship in primary
Four lawyers seek the judgeship being vacated by Keith Raines in Washington County Circuit Court.
Five other incumbent judges on the court are unopposed on the May 19 primary ballot for new six-year terms. They are by position number: Rebecca Guptill (2), Andrew Erwin (7), Ricardo Menchaca (8), Brandon Thompson, newly appointed to the court (10) and Beth Roberts, the current presiding judge (12).
If no one wins a majority in the primary for the open Position 5, the top two finishers will advance to the Nov. 3 general election.
The candidates in brief:
Steven Charles Burke
Burke has been senior associate attorney since 2010 in the Beaverton firm Case & Dusterhoff. Before then he owned his own firm from 2001 to 2010, and with Rycewicz & Chenoweth for one year.
"I want to be elected judge because the Washington County Circuit Court bench needs judges with a variety of skills and experience that cover a wide range of law. I have those skills and experience," he said in a statement.
In addition to his legal experience, he has been a Hillsboro reserve police officer (1993-96) and a pro term judge in Beaverton Municipal Court since 2014. He would have been on the city council of Bull Mountain, but voters in 2006 rejected its incorporation as a city separate from Tigard.
He lost two years ago to Judge Charles Bailey, who won a third term.
"When I ran for judge two years ago, I spent a great deal of time talking to people in the community and thoroughly enjoyed the outreach aspect of the campaign," he said.
Burke, 50, earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1994 from Portland State University and his law degree in 2000 from Lewis & Clark College. He and his wife, Darcy, have two children.
Campaign contact: electburkeforjudge.com
Kroll has been a partner with Justin Johnson in their Hillsboro law firm since 2014. Before then he was in private practice for four years, and a deputy district attorney for Multnomah County from 2007 to 2010.
He is a recent president of the Washington County Bar Association and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He's also a pro tem judge in Circuit Court.
He said in a statement:
"As a minority child who grew up in an interracial home in a predominately white neighborhood, I've seen from a young age that not everyone is treated equally or has access to the same resources. My passion is seeking fairness, and the law lets me work to ensure that our most basic, fundamental rights — our legal rights — are available to all who need them, regardless of racial or gender identity, economic status, or educational background."
Kroll, 38, lives with his wife Maxine in Portland. He earned a bachelor's degree in English in 2004 from Carleton College, and his law degree in 2007 from the University of Oregon. He is an adjunct professor and mock trial coach at Lewis & Clark College law school.
Campaign contact: edwardkroll.com
Lemarr has been the managing attorney for the Hillsboro branch of St. Andrew Legal Clinic since 2008, and began her legal career there from 2004 to 2006. She spent two years in between with David Owens & Associates in Portland. She has been a pro tem judge on the court since 2018.
"As a family lawyer, I work with families to find solutions to these issues and when necessary represent their interests in court," she said in a statement. "My goal is always to find ways to strengthen families, either by securing necessary support orders, developing age-appropriate parenting plans and establishing custody orders necessary to protect children."
She said when incumbent Raines retires, only two of the 15 judges will have experience in family law — her specialty — and only four of the judges are women.
"If I am elected, it is my intention to bring my expertise in family law to the court and use my position to continue to promote stability within families who are in crisis. I also hope to work with my future colleagues to improve access to our court system by self-represented people."
Lemarr, 42, lives in Gladstone with her husband Paul. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1999 from George Fox University and her law degree in 2003 from Willamette University.
Campaign contact: kellylemarrforjudge.com
Ridehalgh has run his own law firm in Hillsboro since 2001. Before then he was a partner in Truitt & Ridehalgh from 1999 until the partnership ended in 2001, and was a lawyer from 1997 to 1999 for McKeown & Brindle, a Beaverton firm now closed.
He has specialized in criminal law and juvenile dependency for his entire legal career. While he has advocated for ways that people can change their behavior, he said it's the client who ultimately decides his advocacy in court. Being a judge, he said, would change all that.
"I could use my experience of dealing with people in these circumstances to try to tailor the orders to the individual circumstances," he said in a statement. "Basically, I believe my experience of hearing the concerns and fears of defendants and families gives me some insight in working with those in these circumstances; and I would like to take advantage of those tools a judge has that I do not have as an attorney."
Ridehalgh, 49, lives with his wife in Sherwood. They have two sons and a daughter. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1993 and his law degree in 1996, both from Willamette University.
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