by David Ammons | November 6th, 2009
Barbara Madsen, a highly regarded senior member of the Washington Supreme Court, has been chosen by her peers as Chief Justice, succeeding Gerry Alexander in January.
Madsen, the third woman ever elected to the state’s highest court, has been a justice for 16 years. She was first elected in 1992 and has been re-elected to six-year terms ever since. She becomes only the second woman to serve as chief justice. (The other was also a Barbara – Durham.) Madsen, a Renton native, is a U-Dub and Gonzaga Law graduate, and was presiding judge of Seattle Muni Court before elected to the high court.
She’ll be sworn in as chief on Jan. 11. She succeeds the longest-serving chief justice, Alexander, who is stepping down from the top post, but remaining as associate justice for two more years. He is required to retire at the end of 2011, the year he turns 75. Madsen is 57.