A Clark County Bar Association poll shows local attorneys overwhelmingly favor Battle Ground Municipal Court Judge Gregory Gonzales as the next Superior Court judge.
Of the 206 bar association members polled, about 65 percent endorsed Gonzales to succeed Judge Edwin Poyfair, who is retiring April 30.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is appointing a replacement and is conducting interviews this month, will take into account the bar poll results in making her decision.
In categories of legal ability, judicial temperament, integrity and relevant legal experience, nearly half voted for Gonzales over his four opponents.
Vancouver defense attorney Bob Yoseph came in second with 11 percent of the votes, followed by Camara Banfield, a senior deputy prosecutor assigned to the major crimes unit, who captured about 10 percent of the vote.
Vancouver private attorney Josephine Townsend received 9 percent of the votes and Darryl Walker, a deputy prosecutor assigned to the civil division, picked up 6 percent.
The results were released to candidates Tuesday and to the public on Wednesday.
Poyfair, 68, said in January that he would retire and move to Arizona. His successor will have to be elected in November to retain the seat.
Superior Court judges preside over felony criminal cases, civil cases involving more than $75,000, divorces, probate cases, juvenile cases and other matters.
They currently earn $148,836 a year.