Incumbent Judge Laura Riquelme will seek to retain her seat on the Skagit County Superior Court, where she has served for over fifteen months. Now having presided over hundreds of motions and more than 50 criminal and civil trials, Judge Riquelme said, “to be a good judge, you have to know more than one aspect of the law. You also have to know your community just as well.”
Judge Riquelme has spent her entire legal career here in Skagit County, first as a prosecutor for the Skagit County Prosecutor’s office, then more than a decade as a public defender, serving as a judge pro tem, and now as one of the four Skagit County Superior Court judges.
“The challenges and changes we have experienced in Superior Court have been significant, from the increase in family court cases to many people who represent themselves in civil legal matters, including many who don’t speak English. Superior Court hears a wide variety of cases beyond just criminal matters. We hear a broad range of civil cases involving families, property owners, children who are in crisis, people struggling with poverty, and individuals from all walks of life within our community,” she said.
“I believe our court needs to keep up with the community it serves and treat people with dignity while resolving their disputes,” she said. Judge Riquelme speaks Spanish and has a long history of local community service.
Judge Riquelme is president of a Mount Vernon elementary school’s parent teacher organization, a board member for Community Action of Skagit County, and the scholarship chairperson for Skagit Women in Business. “It takes more than a law degree to be fair in working with people in the court system. A good judge listens, treats people with dignity, and follows the law. I have the legal experience and the background within our community to serve as a Superior Court judge.”