PT attorney second to declare for district court seat

Katie Kowalski news@ptleader.com
Posted 3/20/18

Mindy Walker believes that any person who walks into the courtroom, no matter why they are coming through the doors, deserves respect.

“That’s something that I’m not willing to ever be …

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PT attorney second to declare for district court seat

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Mindy Walker believes that any person who walks into the courtroom, no matter why they are coming through the doors, deserves respect.

“That’s something that I’m not willing to ever be lenient on,” she said. “That’s a basic right.”

Walker, 41, recently declared her intentions to seek the position of Jefferson County District Court judge. Incumbent Judge Jill Landes has announced she will not run again. Port Townsend attorney Noah Harrison also has declared intentions to file for the position.

“I am very committed to this community and this county, and I want to raise my family here,” she said. Walker and her husband have a 5-year-old child from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a 2-year-old from India.

Walker is a criminal defense attorney who moved to Port Townsend in 2007.

She attended law school at Gonzaga University in Spokane and passed the bar in 2006.

“I saw it as an opportunity to serve a large group of people,” she said of why she decided to go to law school.

“I’ve committed my life to a life of service,” she said.

For three years between being an undergraduate and entering law school, she worked with the U.S. Forest Service as a firefighter on a hotshot crew. “It was a completely different type of service,” she said, “but still a service to our country in a way, because trying to preserve our natural resources is an important thing as well.”

Walker said she has a broad background in the law.

She has had experience in family law, including cases in which kids are removed from families. She also said she’s done numerous anti-harassment orders, some real estate, and some landlord-tenant issues.

She has a private practice with business partner Sam Ramirez, who takes personal injury cases, and has worked around western Washington, with experience in Jefferson, Clallam, Mason, Pierce, Kitsap and King counties.

“I also practice in federal court,” she said of handling cases in U.S. District Court.

Walker has served regularly as a judge pro tem on Bainbridge Island and in Kitsap County.

The salary for district court judge is $161,000 a year

“[I’m committed] to an appearance of fairness and integrity that is needed on the bench, and respect for every single person who comes through my door,” she said.

Walker said there have been numerous judges she has appeared before whom she respects and admires. “I also really respect Judge [Keith] Harper, and how he is really very committed to the approach of fairness in his courtroom,” she said of the Jefferson County Superior Court judge who took office in 2013.

The district court race is nonpartisan, so candidates don’t declare a party affiliation. Walker said she is personally contributing $5,000 to her own campaign and hopes to raise significantly more than that.

She suspects there may be a third person running and noted that a few individuals whose names she declined to give have mentioned they are considering the position.

“I want to provide this community with fair and just access to the court, and serve with integrity and with fairness to all. And I believe that I’m the best candidate to do that,” she said.

“I am excited to serve this community in this capacity. I really care about people and their stories.”

Walker is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club and on the board of the Love More Foundation.

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