Only 1 incumbent challenged

steve.maynard@thenewstribune.comMay 17, 2014 

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson and Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist, D-Tacoma, will be unopposed in their bids for re-election this year.

The same holds true for County Council members Dan Roach, R-Bonney Lake, and Rick Talbert, D-Tacoma.

As filing week ended Friday for this year’s elections, only one county incumbent faces a challenge.

County Councilman Stan Flemming filed for re-election Friday, setting up a contest between him and former Gig Harbor City Councilman Derek Young.

The election could be hotly contested as the two vie over who’s best qualified to represent the district, based partly on where they have lived.

The seeds of that debate were planted during redistricting in 2011.

Flemming, a 61-year-old Republican and longtime University Place resident, was drawn out of Council District 7 with three years left on his term. The Gig Harbor Peninsula was split off from University Place and Fircrest, and linked to Tacoma’s West and North Ends.

Flemming said in May 2013 he had moved to a house in the Gig Harbor area to have the option of running for re-election in 2014.

He said Friday he has since moved from that friend’s house and is renting an apartment in Gig Harbor. He said his wife, Martha, continues to live at the house they own in University Place.

Young, a 37-year-old Democrat, grew up in the Gig Harbor area and runs a graphic design business. He finished his fourth, four-year term on the Gig Harbor City Council in December.

Young, who filed Monday, said the council needs someone such as himself who is from the council district and understands its issues.

“They need somebody that knows their issues intimately,” Young said. “I grew up on the peninsula. I know the area very, very well.”

Flemming disagreed. “I think I know the district far better than he does,” he said.

To run for re-election to the County Council, Flemming had to move. The county charter requires council members to be residents and registered voters of their districts for at least one year prior to filing for their position.

Flemming’s filing Friday was just under the wire, occurring exactly one year after his change of address became official on May 16, 2013.

“I had to stay in my district to continue serving the people that elected me,” Flemming said Friday.

Flemming said he wants to continue working on issues such as public health and safety while ensuring the county “lives within its means.”

Young said he has been working on regional land-use and transportation issues on the Pierce County and Puget Sound Regional councils.

“This was sort of the obvious next step if I want to continue working on those issues,” he said.

Flemming is one of three County Council incumbents on the ballot who are seeking a second and final four-year term. But he is the only one facing a challenger.

County Council members earn an annual salary of $107,602.

Meanwhile, as filing week closed, the race for an open position on the Pierce County District Court bench picked up a third candidate.

Sandy Allen filed Friday to run for the Position 8 seat. She joins attorneys Karl Williams and Jeanette Lineberry in the race.

Allen has worked as a municipal court judge for Ruston for 11 years and Milton for eight. She also has served as a pro-tem judge for District Court.

The position is open because Judge Pat O’Malley decided not to seek re-election.

Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647 @TNTstevemaynard Staff writer Adam Lynn contributed to this report.

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