Judge Tanner keeps seat on Benton County District Court

Nearly 10 years after his appointment to fill a vacant seat, Judge Terry Tanner secured another term with Benton County District Court.

He was challenged this election cycle by lawyer Talesha “Tali” Sams.

The preliminary results are from the 50,468 ballots counted Tuesday night by the Benton County Auditor’s Office. An estimated 8,500 ballots are still to be counted from the general election.

Tanner was winning with 28,396 votes to Sams’ 13,695 votes, or 67 percent to 33 percent.

District Court judges in Washington state currently are paid $164,313.

Terry Tanner
Judge Terry Tanner File

Tanner has been on the bench since April 2009, when he replaced retired-Judge Eugene F. Pratt.

He was a longtime city attorney who worked over the years for Richland, Pasco, West Richland and Connell, and served on the Richland City Council from 1999 until 2002.

Tanner was in the news earlier this year when he was arrested for driving drunk after crashing his car. He pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor, and got 15 days on electronic home monitoring and probation.

Sams is an attorney for Adult Protective Services under the state Department of Social and Health Services, and has a part-time private practice on the side.

She applied for Superior Court vacancies in 2013, 2014 and 2017, and in 2015 when a seventh judicial position was added. She lives in Benton City.


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