Two more candidates for Superior Court Position 7

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Karen Klein, a judge pro tem and local small-business owner, has announced her candidacy for Kitsap County Superior Court, Position 7.

In her campaign announcement, Klein said she is running for judge because she believes she has “the right experience, temperament and commitment to justice needed on the Kitsap County Superior Court.”

Other candidates for Position 7 are Jennifer Forbes, a judge pro tem and president of the bar association; William Houser, a lawyer and former part-time judge in Oregon; and Rob MacDermid, a lawyer of Silverdale. Forbes and Houser both live in Poulsbo.

Klein’s 30-year legal career includes private practice, general counsel, law school instructor, and service as a pro tem judge in Kitsap courts.“Karen was one of the most prepared, ethical, passionate yet measured lawyers I encountered during my 15 years on the Superior Court bench,” former state Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland said.

In addition to her pro tem work, Klein is the CEO of Silver Planet, a local company dedicated to helping the aging population manage their healthcare. At Silver Planet, Klein has used her legal expertise to negotiate and draft contracts, manage staff, run websites, protect intellectual property rights, and speak on social media issues.

Klein serves on the state board of Washington Women Lawyers and on the Kitsap County Health Priorities Committee. She has used her expertise in law to serve children, conducting mock trials in schools across Kitsap County and judge law school competitions. Klein received the National Law Journal Pro Bono Award from Innocence Project Northwest. She has served on many community organization boards throughout Kitsap County for more than two decades, including YWCA of Kitsap County and the Bainbridge Island Health Housing & Human Services Council. She volunteers with the Rolling Readers at Suquamish Elementary School.

Klein holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Boston University. She and her husband, John van den Meerendonk, live on Bainbridge Island and have a son, Ryan, who attends the University of Colorado.

SILVERDALE — Rob MacDermid, who has been an attorney in Kitsap County since 1982, has announced his candidacy for Kitsap County Superior Court judge, Position 7.

He is one of four candidates for the position. The others are Jennifer Forbes, a judge pro tem, of Poulsbo; William Houser, a lawyer and former part-time judge in Oregon, of Poulsbo; and Karen Klein, a judge pro tem, of Bainbridge.

MacDermid had served as a Kitsap County District Court judge pro tem and has more than 20 years of experience as a Kitsap County Superior Court arbitrator.

MacDermid is a Navy veteran. He served for six years as a surface warfare officer on three different ships. Upon leaving active duty to go to law school, he accepted a commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Much of his Reserve career was spent serving in a detachment of the headquarters staff of the commander in chief of the United States Pacific Command. After 27 years of service, MacDermid retired as a commander.

From 2004-08, MacDermid worked as a real estate broker in Kitsap County.  He was a member of the Kitsap County Association of Realtors.

MacDermid is a past president of the Silverdale Rotary Club and and past president of the former Silverdale Noon Lions Club.  He chaired the Central Kitsap Community Campus Task Force. Under his leadership, the Task Force developed the vision for the Campus and then pushed Kitsap County to purchase the land that is now the site for the new YMCA in Silverdale.

While his daughter Lindsay was a student in the Central Kitsap School District, MacDermid routinely volunteered his services to the district. When a district levy was defeated in the 1990s and program funding was cut, MacDermid stepped up to teach a Venture class on government, history and the law. This class was taught over a period of several months and included student field trips to the Kitsap County Courthouse in Port Orchard and the state Capitol and Supreme Court in Olympia.  For more than 15 years, MacDermid routinely spoke at Career Day programs at the three high schools within the Central Kitsap School District.

MacDermid served on the board of directors of the Community Resource Center from 1992 to 2002.  The Community Resource Center was a nonprofit organization located in Bremerton. Its purpose was the promotion of the economic enfranchisement, through home and business ownership, of people of color and other historically disadvantaged groups.

For more than 15 years, MacDermid was a member of the Kitsap County Economic Development Council, now known as the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance. He routinely taught classes to individuals interested in starting their own businesses. He served on the EDC’s board of directors from 1994-98.

MacDermid has served as a tutor for the Literary Council of Kitsap and has taught at Olympic College and City University.

From 1986 to 1996, MacDermid served on the Olympic Private Industry Council and, during his last two years, was chairman. The Olympic Private Industry Council was responsible for providing direction and oversight for the spending of federal job-training funds in Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties.

In 2000, MacDermid was elected to the Kitsap County Board of Freeholders and served throughout 2001 while that group studied the option of charter government for Kitsap County. MacDermid has also served on the board of directors of the United Way of Kitsap County.

Those endorsing MacDermid include Sheriff Steve Boyer, community promoter Hank Mann-Sykes, and former County Commission candidate Carl Johnson.


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