Island County Commissioners narrowed the pool of candidates for District Court Judge this week.
On Wednesday, the board spent about four hours interviewing seven candidates interested in the. Following an approximately 40-minute executive session, they selected three finalists.
The three are: Mark Hanley, a public defender for Island County; Bill Hawkins, a former county prosecutor; and Linda Kipling, the District Court commissioner for the past eight years.
All three commissioners said the candidates are exceptionally qualified and they found the choice difficult. It was determined largely by applicants present and past experience on the bench.
“Many of these candidates would serve our community well,” Board Chairwoman Helen Price Johnson said.
“I was very impressed and I certainly hope that any of those we eliminate today… will run for the job come election time so we can have some great candidates out there for all the voters to make a decision,” Commissioner Kelly Emerson said.
“I think Island County is in good hands,” Commissioner Jill Johnson said.
Judge Peter Strow is retiring at the end of March during the middle of his term.
The board is required to select his replacement.
The job is non-partisan and carries a four-year term.
The commissioners were expected to interview the finalists Friday afternoon after this newspaper went to press.