One powerful lawmaker will bow out, one local judge will try to jump to a new seat, and Pierce County’s embattled assessor-treasurer will try to keep his job.
All those surprises came Friday, the deadline for candidates to file paperwork to put their names on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.
Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam decided to run for a second, four-year term, despite an ethics violation, a no-confidence vote in him by the County Council and numerous legal settlements for claims from current and former employees in his office.
“From the very beginning, I made a commitment to serve as an honest advocate for all Pierce County citizens,” Washam said by e-mail. “… I have kept my word, and will continue to be an assessor-treasurer who will stand strong to protect the rights of my employers, the Pierce County taxpayers.”
Four other candidates form a crowded field, including Billie O’Brien, the administrative manager of the assessor-treasurer’s office. The other candidates are Pierce County Councilman Tim Farrell and former Tacoma Councilmen Spiro Manthou and Mike Lonergan.
The top-two vote-getters in the Aug. 7 primary will face off in November.
The Pierce County Ethics Commission ruled last month that Washam used public resources for campaign purposes in an effort to unseat county Prosecutor Mark Lindquist in 2010. The commission fined Washam $500.
County leaders have settled various claims for damages filed by current and former Washam employees, paying out a total of $1.13 million. In March, County Council members passed a resolution that declared they had no confidence in Washam and asked him to resign.
A recall campaign against Washam narrowly missed reaching the ballot last summer. Multiple county and federal investigations have concluded that Washam retaliated against employees who complained about his behavior. One investigation is still active: a probe by the U.S. Department of Justice into possible civil-rights violations at Washam’s office.
Also Friday, the number of contested Superior Court races grew to four. Judge Beverly Grant, the only Pierce County Superior Court judge who had not revealed her plans, decided to run for an open position instead of trying to keep her own, where she would have faced two lawyers, Helen Whitener and former Supreme Court candidate Stan Rumbaugh. Instead, Grant will face county deputy prosecutor Jerry Costello.
Judge Vicki Hogan also got new competition. Retired public defender Jack Hill of Tacoma filed Friday to challenge Hogan.
New candidates also shook up the races for several Pierce County Council races on the last day of candidate filing.
Edgewood’s mayor joined the race for the District 2 seat. Jeff Hogan, 45, who works in property management and is in his seventh year on the Edgewood council, is running as a Republican.
Joyce McDonald, R-Puyallup, holds the position today and is seeking re-election. She has one other challenger: Daniel “J.R.” Wikane, a Puyallup auctioneer and real estate agent who’s also running as a Republican.
In the race for the District 6 seat, first-time candidate and Anderson Island resident Ann Dasch, a Democrat with a background in college administration and student services, filed to run against Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson, a Republican. Each is hoping to replace departing Councilman Dick Muri.
A third County Council race saw the return of Marilyn Rasmussen, an Eatonville Democrat who was unseated in 2008 after 22 years as a state legislator.
Her comeback bid is against a familiar foe. As Rasmussen did two years ago when she ran for the state House in the 2nd Legislative District, she is taking on Republican Rep. Jim McCune of Graham. This time, she will vie against him for the District 3 seat being vacated by term-limited Roger Bush. Corey Drury, a Spanaway Republican and engineer for a Sumner baking company, is also running.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the day belonged to GOP state Sen. Joe Zarelli of Ridgefield, one of the architects of a mid-session coup this year that handed over control of the Senate budget process to Republicans. In a news release issued shortly after filings closed, he announced he would not seek to return.
“As the Bible tells us ‘to every thing there is a season.’ It’s time for my season as a senator to end,” Zarelli said. “I will move forward with no regrets, only a lot of fond memories, many strong friendships and the hope that I’ve left state government better than how I found it.”
Republican state Rep. Ann Rivers of La Center filed for Zarelli’s Senate seat, as did Ralph Schmidt, a Democrat from Camas.
Other new filings:
U.S. Senate – Glen (Stocky) R. Stockwell of Ritzville, Republican; Will Baker of Tacoma, Reform Party; Timmy (Doc) Wilson of Seattle, Democrat
6th Congressional District – Stephan Andrew Brodhead of Tacoma, Republican; Eric G. Arentz, Jr. of Tacoma, Independent Party
10th Congressional District – Jennifer Ferguson of Lakewood, Democrat
Governor – James White of Marysville, Independent Party; Christian Joubert of Edmonds, no party preference
Lieutenant governor – Mark Greene of Bellevue, Democracy Indep. Party; Dave T. Sumner IV of Kalama, Neopopulist Party
Secretary of state – David J. Anderston of Olympia, no party preference
Commissioner of public lands – Stephen A. Sharon of Seattle, no party preference; Clint Didier of Pasco, Republican
Superintendent of public instruction (nonpartisan) – Ronald L. (Ron) Higgins of Richland
25th Legislative District – House Position 1: Zac Nix of Puyallup, Republican; Michele Smith of Puyallup, Republican; Dawn Morrell of Puyallup, Democrat.
26th Legislative District – House Position 1: Stephen Greer of Wauna, Democrat.
27th Legislative District – Senate: Timothy Jolibois of Tacoma, Republican.
30th Legislative District – House Position 1: Tony Moore of Federal Way, Republican. House Position 2: Roger Freeman of Federal Way, Democrat.
31st Legislative District – House Position 1: Brian Gunn of Auburn, Democrat.
Staff writers Jordan Schrader and Sara Schilling contributed to this report.