The 28th district -- so messed up
The 28th legislative district, which covers Tacoma suburbs like Lakewood and Fircrest, is going to be one of those bellweather districts in this fall's elections. It's a nominally Republican district, their Senate seat was held up until 2004 by maverick liberal Republican Shirley Winsley and their House seats had been held by conservative Reps. Gigi Talcott and Mike Carrell. The 2004 elections sorta threw it into turmoil when Winsley retired and Carrell was appointed to her seat, leaving his seat open for perennial loser Bob Lawrence to narrowly lose the seat to Democrat Tami Green by about a half percent. Even against Lawrence, who lost Congressional campaigns to Norm Dicks in 1998, 2000, and 2002, Green is very vulnerable in what is usually this solid red district. Add to this that Talcott is retiring and the other seat is open, drawing Democrat Troy Kelley, a small business owner, and Republican Don Anderson, a Tacoma attorney.
All that lead up to today, when I read a news article from two weeks ago that Stan Flemming, who lost his seat to Talcott in the 1994 revolution, is running again for the seat. The only thing is, this time he's running as a Republican. He claims in a Tacoma News-Tribune article that he became a Republican in 1995 (convenient, no way to really prove it), but it really seems like he's running GOP because it's much easier to do that than pull a Tami Green. For the record, Flemming currently serves on the University Place City Council.
The GOP primary for Talcott's seat is going to be a hard call, though either Anderson or Flemming will likely be favoured over Kelley in November. If the Pierce County GOP wants to be smart, they should coax Flemming or Anderson into the Green race. Both of them are stronger candidates than Lawrence or his primary challenger, Jim Oliver, so why waste your power on one seat while Lawrence may lose to Green once again?