The candidate’s bios received are below.  The link on the candidate’s name will lead you to his/her candidate web site.


District Court Judge 1

Patrick T. Johnson

1998 Gonzaga Law School Graduate. Since 1998 I’ve worked for the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office handling cases ranging from misdemeanors to rape and murder. I am currently a Senior Deputy Prosecutor assigned to prosecuting chronic offenders. I’ve completed more than 150 criminal trials, and one civil trial.

I am also a Senior Defense Attorney in the US Army Reserves (JAG) serving in the rank of Major. For the last 17 years I have worked to “Defend Those Who Defend America.” I have 25 years of military service.

I’m running to replace District Court Judge Vance Peterson who is retiring this year. He started Veteran’s Court in 2009 and I hope to take over that program when he leaves. He is the only veteran on the bench. I am the only candidate with actual military service. Judge Peterson and a long list of judges (current and former), the County Sheriff, County Prosecutor and County Public Defender endorse my campaign.

I’m married to an awesome wife (Dana) and I have with three great kids (Patrick, Preston, Alice).


Lynden P. Smithson

Lynden is dedicated to justice and focused on service!  Lynden’s run for District Court Judge, Position 1, is a continuation of the service he has given Spokane as a City Prosecutor and a youth soccer coach.

Currently, Lynden works for the City Prosecutor’s office as the head of the Domestic Violence Unit.  Lynden coordinates the efforts of Law enforcement, the Court, victim services and the Prosecutor’s office on issues of Domestic Violence.

Previously, Lynden practiced with Miller, Devlin, McLean & Weaver in a civil litigation firm.  Employment law and insurance defense made up the majority of his practice but the firm also handled construction matters and immigration cases.

In his early career Lynden represented criminal defendants at John Cooney and Associates.

Lynden is proud to have coached youth soccer in Spokane, devoting up to 200 hours a year. He has trained teams as young as 4 years of age and as old as 18 years of age.  Lynden has attained USSF D, C and B licenses during his coaching tenure.


Randy A. Brandt

Judge Randy Brandt has been an attorney for nearly 30 years and has 21 years of judicial experience. Randy worked his way up the judicial ladder and has heard tens of thousands of cases over his judicial career. Before he was a judge, Randy was a small business owner for over 10 years.

During his extensive judicial service, Judge Brandt has gained knowledge about the judicial system and learned, most importantly, about people. Brandt is a skilled and seasoned judicial veteran and is uniquely qualified for making the tough decisions necessary to keep our families and community safe.

Judge Brandt’s combination of legal, judicial and life experience, along with his energy and passion for serving make him an exceptional judge.


Spokane Superior Court – Judge Position 10

Dennis (DC) Cronin

Based upon the foundation developed through Gonzaga Law Clinic, Spokane Legal Services and Maxey Law, Dennis’ career has evolved through 33 years of client advocacy in practice areas including landlord/tenant, felony defense, civil practice and civil rights to his complex domestic and appellate practice encompassing  military and other retirements, domestic violence, child maltreatment, criminal, adoptions, juvenile law, guardianships, probates, and victim’s rights.

A small business owner and solo practitioner for the past 18 years, Dennis also serves as a mediator, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – WA President; SCBA Family Law Chair; Northwest Mediation Vice President; WSBA LGBT Chair Elect, SCBA LGBTA Law founding Trustee, WSAJ Eagle, Spokane Ethics Commission Chair; Spokane Human Rights Commission former Chair; and Superior Court Commissioner Pro Tem from 2005-2015.

Dennis’ work ethic, legal knowledge, professional and civic service, and commitment to justice is recognized by judicial ratings of “Well Qualified” and “Exceptionally Well Qualified”; AV Preeminent Martindale Hubbell rating; and the endorsements of community organizations, including the National Organization for Women WA/PAC. For more information, please visit


Michelle (Shelley) Szambelan

Judge Shelley Szambelan seeks to keep her seat in Superior Court, position 10.  Before her February appointment by Governor Inslee, she worked as a full-time judge in Spokane Municipal Court for over nine years.  While in private civil practice, she served as a pro tem District Court judge on civil cases.  With 27+ years of legal experience, more than 12 have been on the bench.  She served as dean and faculty of Washington’s State Judicial College for several years. Judge Szambelan is a frequent presenter at continuing education conferences, and has edited and drafted several chapters of a judicial benchbook. Judge Szambelan served on the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee for Washington state.

As an appellate prosecutor for the City of Spokane, Judge Szambelan briefed and argued cases at all levels of state court, as well as the United States Supreme Court. She also assisted the City’s civil legal department. Prior to her work with City of Spokane, she enjoyed a varied, complex civil litigation practice for several years in both state and federal courts.