With family and about 40 supporters at his side, Joe Burrowes announced Monday that he wants to keep his job as a district court judge in Benton County.
Burrowes has been on the judicial bench for three years, and this will be his first attempt to be elected to the office.
"I bring experience, integrity and a passion for excellence," Burrowes told the group gathered at noon for his campaign announcement at Tony Roma's restaurant in Kennewick.
"I have a proven track record," Burrowes said, noting that he has broad support from within the judicial community in the Tri-Cities. Among those who attended the announcement were Benton County Clerk Josie Delvin, Commissioner Leo Bowman and Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson.
"I want to make a difference in the law and my community," said the 30-year resident of the Tri-Cities who is a graduate of Richland High School, Columbia Basin College and Washington State University Tri-Cities.
Burrowes, who is married and with his wife, Sue, has raised two children, earned a law degree at Gonzaga University. He has six years of judicial experience by serving as a court commissioner, pro-tem judge and full-time judge in Benton County and other part-time judicial duties in Pasco and Franklin County.
Friend William Bernard of Richland said he came to respect Burrowes' drive when they worked together at the Hanford Patrol. That's when Burrowes decided to attend college classes at night to become a lawyer.
"He is tenacious and nothing is too hard for him to achieve. The end was to improve himself and to help others," Bernard said.
Matheson said Burrowes works hard and has an upbeat personality. "We need to retain him (because) he will be a future leader and an excellent judge," Matheson said.
Burrowes said his grandmother taught him as a boy to never give up on his Christian faith, to always to the right thing and to give back with community service.
"I think I am that person today," he said.
Burrowes' community involvement includes volunteering with the United Way and the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter, coordinating the high school mock trial court competition and the We the People Competition, and speaking with business law students at high schools.
He also has been honored by the Washington State Bar Association for doing pro bono legal work for the poor.
He has served as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, civil litigator and family court facilitator and represented individuals, municipalities, businesses and corporations.
His campaign website is judgejoeburrowes.com