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Sims leads challenger Marble in judge race

Ted Sims appeared to be retaining the Washington County judgeship he was appointed to earlier this year against a challenge from Forest Grove lawyer Tim Marble.

According to early returns in the nonpartisan contest, Sims was ahead of Marble 64 percent to 35 percent.

"It was stressful," Sims said of Marble's challenge to his seat. "It was an unexpected thing to have to do."

Judges are rarely opposed when their six-year terms end, with re-election being almost automatic if they want to continue in the seat.

And Sims, 60, was a newcomer to the Washington County bench, appointed recently by Gov. Kate Brown after working for 35 years at his family law firm in Portland.

Marble, who appeared realistic Tuesday evening about his likely defeat, said he'd be disappointed to not win the seat, but "I still accomplished my mission, which was: I wanted to give the voters a choice."

Marble, 53, has practiced law in Forest Grove since 1996. He is a 1980 graduate of Forest Grove High School.

He ran for mayor in 2014 but lost to the incumbent, Pete Truax.

Sims, a Bull Mountian resident, says he practices the "you see lemons, you make lemonade" approach to life. So he took Marble's challenge as "a forced opportunity to get out in the community a lot faster" and did some door-to-door campaigning with his family, as well as attending a number of meetings."

He also spent money on billboards and Facebook ads.

Marble claims Sims outspent him by at least a 4 to 1 margin so he considered a 2 to 1 margin of defeat "not bad."

Sims said he took the race seriously and loves his new job. "Once you start doing it and the importance of it and the fact that the 35 years I had in private practice is coming into play."

Some "oddball" cases have come before him already that he recognizes from similar experiences years ago in his family practice, Sims said.

"I went out there to do a job for the people in Washington County. So far they seem to think I'm doing a good job."

Both Marble and Sims agree that the county should have more than its current number of 14 circuit judges; Multnomah County has 38.