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Candidate for Washington Supreme Court Gets 42 Percent of Vote Despite Lack of Campaign

Posted Aug 10, 2012 6:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Seattle lawyer Bruce Danielson managed to win 42 percent of the vote this week in a race for the Washington Supreme Court, even though he didn’t campaign or raise money.

Some are questioning whether his strong showing was due to the Hispanic surname of his opponent, Steve Gonzalez, report the Associated Press, the Seattle Times and the SeattlePI.com. Gonzalez, a former King County judge and assistant U.S. attorney, was appointed to the high court bench in January to fill a vacancy. He will advance to the general election unopposed after winning more than 50 percent of the vote.

Gonzalez was rated extremely well qualified and endorsed by both major candidates for governor. "I don't understand if they were voting for my opponent, or against me," Gonzalez told AP. "I went around the state to talk to people; he didn't. I attended editorial board meetings and judicial forums; he didn't. Yet 42 percent of voters thought he should be on the supreme court. I'm curious as to why."

Danielson, however, said he thinks names had no significant effect on the election. “Philosophical differences are largely what accounted for the difference in our vote totals," he told AP. In an interview with the Seattle Times, he said voters were able to learn about his conservative views on his website.

Danielson said he didn’t want to raise money because of the potential for conflicts, judicial forums are nothing but popularity contests, and speaking with editorial boards is a waste of time because the questions posed aren’t intelligent. He has 28 years of practice experience.

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