Sunday, March 30, 2008

Profile: Mike Lonergan, Pierce County Executive candidate

Pierce County, Washington will be using Ranked Choice Voting to elect its county officials in November. This is the first in a series of profiles of candidates running for county office. Lonergan's candidacy is especially interesting since he may be the only independent candidate on the November ballot in the entire state of Washington due to the state's move to the top 2 system this year.

For more information about the County Executive race, see here.

For more information about Mike Lonergan, see here or here.

Tacoma City Councilman Mike Lonergan is certain that ranked choice voting makes his independent bid to be Pierce County Executive stronger—but he’s not so sure that it will change the way he campaigns.

“I’m very happy to be running as an independent under the ranked choice voting system,” Lonergan said. “The problem with the other system is that an independent wouldn’t be taken seriously. They wouldn’t be participating in the primary, when there is a tremendous amount of focus on the candidates, with newspapers and other organizations making endorsements.”

Despite the advantages Lonergan believes he will enjoy as an independent in the partisan race for County Executive, he does not anticipate utilizing some of the innovative RCV campaign tactics seen in other locales, such as cooperative campaigning that includes joint mailings or candidates appearing at each other’s events.

Lonergan’s campaign theme is “executive excellence,” which keys off his years as executive director of the Tacoma Rescue Mission, as well as years serving in leadership at the Salvation Army.

“My premise is not to be anyone’s second choice,” he said. “How does a person who’s running on excellence try to be somebody’s second choice? Either you really support that the CEO of the county should be a proven CEO in another venue, or you don’t.”

Lonergan’s campaign is focused around economic development in Pierce County, but through the lens of crime prevention and job training.

“Until we actually make crime prevention a higher priority and until we actually achieve higher results in education, we are not going to have what it takes to succeed with economic development, no matter how many incentives we offer,” he said.

Lonergan is currently serving his second term on Tacoma City Council in at-large position 6. During his time on City Council he has chaired the four-year-old Government, Performance, and Finance committee, which has sought to increase effectiveness and efficiency within city government.



At 10:48 AM, Anonymous rpmjonts said...

Kelly: I will introduce Mike Lonergan tomorrow at the Chamber's Public Affairs Forum. You list Mike as an independent. the voter's pamphlet list him as a member of the Executive excellence Party. Do you know which is correct? Ron Jones


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