Salvador Mendoza to Replace Superior Court Judge Matheson - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Salvador Mendoza to Replace Superior Court Judge Matheson

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Governor Jay Inslee is appointing Salvador Mendoza, Jr. to serve as Superior Court judge for Benton and Franklin counties. 

Mendoza will replace retiring Superior Court Judge Craig J. Matheson, who is stepping down after 26 years of dedicated service. 

Mendoza will be the only Latino Superior, District or Municipal court judge serving in Eastern Washington. He'll be joining five other judges in Superior Court where he'll take on cases that range from felonies to domestic and family law cases.

"Well this is amazing. First of all I'd like to thank Governor Inslee for appointing me as our next Benton and Franklin County Superior Court Judge," said Mendoza. "I'm truly honored at this important opportunity, not only for me and my family, but I think for the entire community."

Mendoza, who was raised in a family of migrant farm workers, is currently a Judge Pro-Tempore in Benton County Superior Court and Franklin County Juvenile District Court. He is also a partner in a Kennewick law firm with an emphasis on adult and juvenile criminal law. Mendoza helped start the Juvenile Drug Court program, and has been a proponent of equal access to justice through his work with Benton-Franklin Legal Aid Society and served as a Columbia Basin College trustee.

Mendoza's term begins effective May 6, 2013.