Asotin County ranks 27th in population among Washington’s 39 counties; our county also ranks sixth smallest in area. Friday, I found out how little our littleness means to our Governor.
Governor Inslee has appointed an exceptional number of judges—more in his first two years in office than any Washington governor in history has appointed—since his election in 2012. As the Governor observed, “Boomers simply are ready to retire.” Judge Acey, now Judge William Acey, Ret., served his County first as prosecutor, then as District Court Judge, before presiding over the Superior Court. Our county has just one Superior Court department. His service spanned 31 years. He’s a retirement-ready Boomer in the best possible way.
Our Governor has attended the installations of every single one of his judicial appointees. His interest in our little county impressed me. We’re just over the bridge from Idaho, only about 40 minutes to the Oregon border, and nowhere near Olympia. The Governor practiced law for a while in Yakima, so he’s no stranger to the quality of Eastern Washington. He didn’t seem like a stranger at all, and it was my first time in the presence of a governor.
I decided I wanted to dress up for the occasion—business homespun is still my preferred style for court, as it was before I retired as an attorney. Nearly all the attorneys in attendance wore their Fridays. The Governor was ready for anything in his blue jacket and jeans, no tie.
His insight as to our county’s quality smoothed the lingering prejudice I held against the “west side liberals.” It was a very happy occasion; my husband, an attorney, works with great people; we all love where we are, confident that everyone makes it all work together, willing to call ancient tribal partisanship passé.