The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

20 December 2006

The race to replace Ladenburg

I'm a bit late in posting about it, but about a week ago Pierce County Councilman Calvin Goings [D-Puyallup] became the first big name to throw his hat in the ring for 2008's county executive race, where incumbent Democrat John Ladenburg is term-limited. Goings is also term-limited on the Council, and had previously served in the Senate.

Other notables whose names have been tossed around include:
-Shawn Bunney [R]: County councilman since 2003.
-Jim Kastama [D]: Senator since 2001, previously served as state representative.
-Mike Lonergan [R]: At-large member of the Tacoma City Council.
-Pat McCarthy [D]: County auditor since 2003.
-Brian Sonntag [D]: State auditor since 1993.

This has the potential to hold a hotly-contested general election. Pierce, the state's largest swing county, has elected a Republican Council under Ladenburg the last few years and was the opposite under the previous executive, current GOP Land Commissioner Doug Sutherland. This position is gold for any politician with statewide aspirations (a bit backwards in Sonntag's case), and Goings has the youth and looks to use this as a launchpad. I have also been quite interested to see the next step Ladenburg himself takes. I think he'd be the Democrats' dream candidate for attorney general in 2008, and while I don't think they would do it, I think he'd also have a much easier time against Dino Rossi if the party would dump Gregoire simply by taking a big chunk of Dino's 2004 support off the table due to his local popularity. The press has treated him as something of a Democratic heir-aparent, so it would surely help him to keep his name around until he can take the gubernatorial plunge.

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14 Comments:

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous peter said...

That would be the political blunder of the decade if the Democratic party dumped a sitting governor for someone with no name ID outside of Tacoma.

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger Emmett said...

And, there won't likely be any exciting primaries in this race because there won't be a primary with IRV.

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger TMW said...

Gah, forgot about that. Fortunately, it could certainly make for an even better general.

 
At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladenburg as Governor is a s-c-a-r-y thought.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous cuyahoga said...

I know Dwight Pelz has been trying hard to get Ladenburg to run for AG. He ran for AG in 1992 and lost to Gregoire in the primary. I honestly don't know if he's as popular in Pierce County as some (including the press) make him out to be.

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One interesting aspect of the Pierce County Executive race is that the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee is entitled to determine which candidate(s) may appear on the general election ballot with the Democrat label. The party is allowed to limit the number to one, two, or more candidates with the party label.

What will they do?

 
At 4:39 AM, Blogger TMW said...

"I know Dwight Pelz has been trying hard to get Ladenburg to run for AG." - cuyahoga

He's the natural choice for the Democrats to take on McKenna. Any other potential nominees would probably have a hard time winning the race, and if Pelz wants to avoid dealing with McKenna in a marquee race down the road, he needs to scout the strongest possible opponent now.

"One interesting aspect of the Pierce County Executive race is that the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee is entitled to determine which candidate(s) may appear on the general election ballot with the Democrat label." - anonymous

I was not aware of that. If one or more strong Democrats do indeed enter the race (as I suspect they will), I hope the party won't play favourites in approving ballot access.

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous peter said...

the party cannot actually pick who is on the ballot, as the people who pick the D or R ballot gets to vote for who they want to move on...I would imagine if there was only one R, then there would be a lot of crossover voting for potentially a weaker candidate(see the 17th, and the Dunn race).

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Patrick said...

I think Ladeburg would be a laughingstock if ran against McKenna. The latter is no political neophyte, having earlier served on the King County council. Besides, McKenna has assembled a savvy team of political advisors, and has been earning a cascade of positive press by going to bat for consumers and vulnerable citizens.

What about Adam Smith getting into this Pierce County Exec. race? I heard through the grapevine he's getting tired of DC politics, and especially dislike the commute...

 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous peter said...

yeah Smith DIDN'T like DC, but now he is in the majority, so I am sure that will change his perception...although I know someone in his office who was saying Smith has been interested in running for AG.

 
At 10:44 PM, Blogger TMW said...

"I think Ladeburg would be a laughingstock if ran against McKenna. The latter is no political neophyte, having earlier served on the King County council." - Patrick

I don't think he'll crash and burn at all, but anybody is going to be hard-pressed to beat McKenna. The guy is sharp and a hard worker, and a moderate to boot. Thanks for stopping by, by the way.

"yeah Smith DIDN'T like DC, but now he is in the majority, so I am sure that will change his perception...although I know someone in his office who was saying Smith has been interested in running for AG." - Peter

Being in the majority with a decade in seniority behind him ought to change his mind quick. I could sorta see him going for the Pierce race, but attorney general? If I recall correctly, he got elected to the Senate in his mid-20s, and if he had worked in law prior to that, he'd be rather short on that sort of experience. I'd dig watching the open seat race he'd leave behind, though. I'd get on the phone ASAP to encourage Skip to run, though I doubt he'd do it.

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Skip?

 
At 10:13 PM, Blogger TMW said...

Skip Priest, state representative of the 30th district.

 
At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks

 

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