Mike Padden

Mike Padden
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 4th legislative district
Assumed office
November 29, 2011 (2011-11-29)
Preceded by Jeff Baxter
Spokane County District Court Judge, Position 3
In office
March 23, 1995 (1995-03-23)[1]  January 8, 2007 (2007-01-08)[2]
Preceded by Raymond Tanksley Jr.
Succeeded by John O. Cooney
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the Position 2, 4th legislative district
In office
January 12, 1981 (1981-01-12)  March 28, 1995 (1995-03-28)
Preceded by Walt O. Knowles
Succeeded by Mark Sterk
Personal details
Born Michael John Padden
(1946-11-13) November 13, 1946[3]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Laura Joanna (Derr) Padden
Children five sons
Residence Spokane Valley, Washington
Alma mater Gonzaga University (B.A.)
Gonzaga University (J.D.)
Profession City Attorney
State Representative
County District Court Judge
State Senator
Religion Catholicism
Website Official

Michael John "Mike" Padden (born November 13, 1946) is a lawyer and politician from Spokane Valley, Washington. He is a member of the Washington State Senate representing Washington's 4th Legislative District.

Padden is well known as a "faithless elector", a Presidential Elector who casts his vote for someone other than for whom he has pledged to vote. In the 1976 U.S. presidential election, Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate and incumbent, had lost the race to Democrat, and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. Rather than vote as pledged, for President Ford, Padden instead cast his vote for Ronald Reagan, who had lost the Republican nomination to Ford earlier that year. [4][5]

He entered the Washington House of Representatives in January 1981 and served there until 1995 when he was appointed to serve as a district court judge in the Spokane County District Court.[6] On June 13, 2006, Padden announced he would not run for re-election as judge.[7] In 2007, evidence surfaced that Padden used his influence as a judge to help direct more than $7.5 million in fees and interest payments to a former employer.[8] At Padden’s request, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct has issued a statement confirming that it examined complaints about Padden’s 1999 selection of a former client as the official collection agency for District Court but found nothing to support an ethics violation. The commission typically acknowledges complaints only if it imposes discipline or sanctions. The agency, however, refused to disclose how it arrived at its conclusion or what the initial examination entailed.[9]

Padden was elected to the Washington Senate in November 2011.


  1. "Commissioners Judge Padden Is Best Conservative Legislator Appointed To Fill Vacancy On District Court Bench; Will Resign From House Immediately". spokesman.com. March 24, 1995. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  2. "Judge's clout cost citizens". spokesman.com. January 7, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  3. "Mike Padden (R) - Candidate for WA State Senate - Dist. 4". khq.com. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  4. Pinkus, Matt (Dec 27, 1976). "Should Presidential Election System Be Reformed?". The Telegraph.
  5. Staff & News Services (Dec 13, 2004). "Washington Officially Casts Its 11 Electoral Votes For Kerry". Komo News. Retrieved Jul 21, 2016.
  6. "NHTSA Judicial Outreach Liaisons - National Conference of Specialized Court Judges [ABA Judicial Division]". American Bar Association. 2000-01-01.
  7. Camden, Jim (Jun 14, 2006). "District judge to step down". The Spokesman Review.
  8. Clouse, Thomas (Jan 7, 2007). "Judge's clout cost citizens". The Spokesman Review.
  9. Clouse, Thomas (13 May 2011). "Padden takes on ethics issue". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 27 August 2011.

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