Rachel Kittson-MaQatish has a long history of community service and believes that succeeding Judge Daniel Murphy on the District 23, Position 3, bench would be an honor and a continuation of that credo.
“Judge Murphy is so knowledgeable and renders decisions quickly,” she said. “I have been so blessed and my communities have given me so much support for so many years.”
She is opposed on the ballot by attorneys Teri Plagmann, Jennifer Hisey and Rebecca Winters.
Kittson-MaQatish said she's learned much from Judge Tom McHill, for whom she worked for several years.
“I like where I’m at and have great partners, but I’ve always pushed myself to work harder and to do better,” she said. “I have a heart for service.”
Kittson-MaQatish described her law career as varied, which she felt would be an asset as a judge.
“I’m a prosecutor for the city of Lebanon, practice family law and have worked with civil commitments for years,” she said. “Most attorneys specialize in an area, but I would bring a varied experience to the position. My law experience is definitely well-rounded.”
She has been a partner with the Morley Thomas Law Firm since 2011.
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Kittson-MaQatish said the Linn County Circuit Court is not an isolated entity.
“I know how scary the legal system can be for someone who doesn’t know about the law,” she said. “It’s important that we treat everyone with respect. The court actually has a link with so many other areas — mental health, law enforcement, jails and penitentiaries.”
She said it’s important for a judge to know what resources are available when considering sentencing.
“Is there a jail bed open?” she said. “What is the person’s criminal history? Has substance abuse been an issue for them? Is there mental health or substance treatment to help them?”
Kittson-MaQatish was a teenage single mother who worked her way through college and law school with community support. She worked as a waitress, bartender, an office assistant and in area mills to get through school.
In 2014, she was named Lebanon’s Woman of the Year and Sweet Home’s First Citizen of the Year. In 2017, she was recognized as an Distinguished Alumna by Linn-Benton Community College.
She is past president of the Sweet Home Economic Development Group, is a member of the Lebanon Optimist Club, is a Strawberrian and serves on the Linn County Arbitration and Mediation Committee.
As a law student, she founded the Willamette Street Law Project, which teaches teen parents and at-risk youth about the law.