OKANOGAN – Okanogan County District Court Judge Hank Rawson is seeking the Superior Court Judge position being vacated by Jack Burchard.
“I currently have been entrusted with the position of district court judge by the citizens of Okanogan County for which I am beholden and most grateful to serve. My legal and judicial experience coupled with a commitment to service of community leads me to seek this higher judicial office,” said the candidate. “I would be honored to serve the citizens of Okanogan County as their Superior Court Judge.”
Before being elected to the District Court in the fall of 2010, following Judge David Edward’s retirement, Rawson, a resident of Okanogan, had a private law practice and has served as Omak’s Municipal Judge since 2002. Rawson also held judicial positions as the Okanogan City Municipal Judge from 1988 to 1997 and was Riverside Municipal Judge from 2000 until the town eliminated the position.
He currently serves as the District Court’s Presiding Judge and is responsible for the supervision of the District Court including responsibility for “leading the management and administration of the court’s business, recommending policies and procedures that improve the court’s effectiveness, and allocating resources in a way that maximizes the court’s ability to resolve disputes fairly and expeditiously.”
The judge is a 2003 and 2011 graduate of Washington State’s Judicial College and a member of the Washington State District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association. He holds membership in the American Judges Association, American Judicature Society, and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
He graduated from Okanogan High School in 1967 and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Public Accounting from Gonzaga University. He received his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga in 1975. He has been engaged in private law practice for over 35 years beginning his legal career with trial attorney, Kelly Hancock of Omak, and the firm soon became the law firm of Hancock, Rawson and Sloan. After eleven and half years with with the firm, he started his own practice at Okanogan in 1987. He has had extensive trial experience during the course of his legal career including criminal and civil trials. Rawson has served in the Okanogan County Superior Court as a Guardian Ad Litem for Domestic/Family and Estate/Guardianships matters under specialized training and requirements.
He is a member in good-standing with the Washington State Bar Association, Okanogan County Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Federal) and the Colville Tribal Court (Colville Confederated Tribes). He has served as Okanogan County Bar Assn President and on the Washington State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Committee.
He has given extensive volunteer commitments to numerous organizations and has served on many committees and boards. Most notably Rawson has been a member of the Okanogan-Omak Rotary Club (32+years), is a Paul Harris Fellow, and has served as club president twice. He served North Central Washington and the Grand Columbia Council of the Boy Scouts of America as Okanogan Valley District Chairman for over nine years, trekked at Philmont Scout Ranch, honored with the District’s “GOOD SCOUT” award in 2004 and received the National BSA’s SILVER BEAVER award.
“My strengths are my judicial experience at multiple levels of court; my legal experience, my legal knowledge; my community values; my family values; my common sense; and my judicial temperament with commitment to procedural fairness, to access, and to integrity of the courts,” he said.
He has been married to his wife, Catherine (Cathy), for 37 years. They are the parents of four children: Tim, Danielle Freeman, Stephan and Ashley Richardson-Kay.