Three in contention for seat on District Court bench Three in contention for seat on District Court bench

PORT ORCHARD — The Kitsap County commissioners will soon fill a fourth District Court position, which is expected to ease the county’s judicial logjam.

Three attorneys have applied for the position. Stephen Holman, who has served as a pro-tem judge, deputy prosecutor Jennifer Forbes and Laura King, who adjudicates local benefits claims.

Holman has the inside track, earning not only the full support of the three serving District Court judges but a qualified endorsement from Prosecutor Russ Hauge.

Hauge has written letters of support for both Holman and Forbes.

“Steve is my first choice because of the length of his experience.” he said. “But Jennifer is more than qualified, and she is an excellent attorney.”

Both Hauge and South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel said they expect Forbes will be a judge — just not this time around.

“Jennifer is extremely smart and talented, but she doesn’t have as much experience,” Angel said. “I have some idea as to where this is going to go.”

County staff has assembled a binder of letters in support of Forbes and Holman and presented them in a binder to each commissioner.

The commissioners will discuss each candidates’ merits in an upcoming executive session, then make the appointment in an open meeting, possibly as soon as Feb. 13.

Commissioner Patty Lent said she had only seen one letter in support of King, who has unsuccessfully sought bench appointments in the past.

Hauge did not write a letter in support of King, due to her conduct on a recent employment case.

The new position pays $125,672, split evenly between the county and the state.

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