Saturday, April 07, 2007

Pierce County Executive - The Democrats

This is the second of a series of three postings on the Pierce County Executive race in 2008. The first posting in the series was on the Republican candidates. The third posting in the series will be on the independent and Libertarian candidates.

Calvin Goings became the first person to announce his candidacy for Pierce County Executive in December. Goings is a second term member of the County Council and is unable to run for re-election in 2008 due to term limits. Goings is out campaigning hard already. He is lining up endorsements and raising money. His campaign strategy appears to be to box out other Democrats.

County Auditor Pat McCarthy is widely seen as positioning herself to run for Executive in 2008. Since she just won re-election as Auditor in 2006, she has a free run for Executive. She is the only potential candidate who has run countywide in previous races. This countywide name recognition gives McCarthy a significant advantage in a wide open race. It is expected that McCarthy will wait until early 2008 to announce her candidacy. She has to run the 2007 elections plus get ready to implement IRV for 2008, so it makes good sense for her to wait to announce.

Another rumored candidate is State Senator Jim Kastama. Kastama has had a solid record in the state legislature, but has never held county level office. Kastama has never run for any office countywide. While it is still early, Kastama may be scared away by the big field of solid candidates for this office.

One other factor which could discourage a Kastama candidacy for County Executive is his State Senate term expires at the end of 2008 and if he loses the race he is out of a job. At this point, a Kastama race for re-election might make more sense. On the other hand, County Executive pays better than State Senator.

This is a strong set of potential candidates for the Democrats. Certainly they seem to match the potential Republican candidates well. The voters are likely to have some great choices for County Executive in 2008.



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