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Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis Announces Run to Retain Supreme Court Seat

Press ReleaseToday, Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis announced that she will run to retain her seat on the Washington Supreme Court. Montoya-Lewis will seek a full term after her appointment to the court by Governor Jay Inslee. Following twenty years as a judge, including five years on the Whatcom County Superior Court, Montoya-Lewis made history, becoming the first Native American to sit on the Washington State Supreme Court bench after being sworn in earlier this month. She is only the second Native American to serve on a state supreme court.

“Serving on our state’s highest court is an incredible honor. I recognize the immense responsibility we have to define the laws of our state and to ensure justice is served righteously and correctly,” said Montoya-Lewis. “This campaign will allow me to share my commitment to the principles of fair and impartial justice with voters across the state. I am looking forward to it.”

In addition to serving as a Whatcom Superior Court Judge, Montoya-Lewis has also served as Chief Judge for the Lummi, Nooksack, and Upper Skagit Indian tribes, providing her comprehensive understanding of issues affecting Native Americans and indigenous people in Washington state. She has served as a trial court judge and as an appellate judge for tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“Representation matters. Having a voice at the table – and on the bench – for Native American communities, and other underrepresented communities, will ensure a thoughtful review of the issues at hand, now and in the future,” said Montoya-Lewis. “Much of my work has centered on equity, implicit bias, and cultural identity. I will continue to bring those lenses to our work on the Supreme Court as we seek to ensure fair and just outcomes for all Washingtonians.”

An unyielding advocate for children and youth, Montoya-Lewis has been recognized locally and nationally for her work on juvenile justice reform. As an associate professor at Western Washington University, Montoya-Lewis taught legal classes and conducted research on issues ranging from juvenile justice to tribal courts. She brings an expert and scholarly understanding of Washington state law to Olympia.

Montoya-Lewis enters the race with an extensive list of endorsements, including all eight of her colleagues on the Washington State Supreme Court, and over thirty current and retired Superior Court Judges and Commissioners from Whatcom, Pierce, Skagit and King Counties. For a complete list, visit

“Justice Montoya-Lewis has a brilliant legal mind and has already demonstrated her depth of understanding in a short time on the Supreme Court. She brings an invaluable perspective and commitment to ensuring thoughtful, fair, and accessible justice for all Washingtonians,” said State Supreme Court Justice Steve González.

Justice Montoya-Lewis is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and the University of Washington School of Law, and an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Isleta tribe and a descendant of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe. She lives with her family, splitting time between Olympia and Bellingham.

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The above is a press release from the campaign of Justice Montoya-Lewis.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its contents. 

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