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Eaton seeks election to San Juan County Superior Court | Superior Court
San Juan County Superior Court Judge Donald E. Eaton has announced that he will run for election to that position this year.
Eaton was appointed to the bench in March by Gov. Christine Gregoire, three months after the death of Judge John Linde. In announcing his appointment, Gregoire stated, "I was impressed with Don the moment I met him. He has a history of being honest, fair and compassionate, and has the respect of his community and colleagues."
Under Washington law, an appointed judge is required to run for the position in the first general election after the appointment. If elected, Eaton would complete a term that ends Dec. 31, 2012.
Superior Court judges are paid $148,832 a year; half of that salary is paid by the county served by the judge. They preside over cases that involve felony crimes, civil complaints and land-use disputes; family law matters, such as divorce, parental custody and paternity; and legal filings concerning probates and estates.
In San Juan County, the Superior Court judge also presides over affairs of Juvenile Court.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Eaton maintained a private practice of law in Friday Harbor for 30 years. He also served as San Juan County's only Superior Court commissioner for 26 years and as attorney for the Town of Friday Harbor for 29 years.
Eaton lives in Friday Harbor with his wife, Shyrl, and is the father of three adult children, one of whom was born on the island, and has three young grandchildren.
In announcing his candidacy, Eaton said he was deeply honored by Gregoire's decision to appoint him to the bench and would feel particularly deserving of that honor if the citizens of San Juan County were to elect him as Superior Court judge.
The primary election is Aug. 17, the general election is Nov. 2. Islanders will vote on 14 legislative and local positions this year: County assessor, auditor, clerk, prosecutor, sheriff, treasurer; County Council District 2, District 5, and District 6; District Court judge, Superior Court judge; U.S. House of Representatives 2nd District, 40th District state House Position 1, and 40th District state House Position 2.