Tom Seguine (left) and Elizabeth Yost Neidzwski

In a race that has become a hot topic in Skagit County, public defender Elizabeth Yost Neidzwski is leading former county Prosecuting Attorney Tom Seguine in the race to fill a vacant judge seat on the Skagit County Superior Court bench.

“I am very happy with the initial election results,” Yost Neidzwski said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how they look when all the ballots are counted.”

With early numbers in, Yost Neidzwski, a senior deputy in the Skagit County Public Defender’s Office, is leading Seguine with 53.8 percent of the vote — 17,293 ballots for her compared to Seguine’s 14,760.

This seat on the bench, which is being vacated by Judge David Svaren’s retirement, is contentious.

In Skagit County, judicial seats have, until recently, been non-contentious, which may be why this one garnered so much attention, Yost Neidzwski said.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the opinion pages of the Skagit Valley Herald were filled with letters endorsing the candidates.

“I feel like we ran a really strong campaign,” Yost Neidzwski said. “I’m proud of the campaign I ran.”

As of 9 p.m., Seguine could not be reached for comment by the Skagit Valley Herald.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141,, Twitter: @Kera_SVH,

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