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.