Two Democrats have filed to run against Republican Doug Richardson for his seat on the Pierce County Council.
Lakewood residents Kurt Erickson and Linda Farmer filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission last month.
Farmer is director of communications for the Pierce County Library System. She is also a member of the Pierce County Charter Review Commission, a position she was elected to in 2015.
On his campaign website, Erickson says he is a combat veteran from the war in Afghanistan and a member of the Washington Army National Guard. He has volunteered with nonprofit organizations helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and works for Amazon managing operations and logistics.
In a news release Farmer said she is running against Richardson because the county needs leaders who will “bring people together and take action,” and a council that is more accessible and connected to the community.
“The Pierce County Council should be a place where leaders collaborate on the big, regional challenges we’re facing,” Farmer said in the release.
Challenges include traffic, inadequate mental health care systems, pollution in Puget Sound and a rising rate of homelessness and substance addiction, she said.
Erickson also listed improving access to mental health services as a priority.
The county’s lack of funding for mental health services has forced “more of the mentally ill into emergency rooms and jails, significantly increasing costs for Pierce County taxpayers,” he said in a release.
Erickson said he believes funding mental health services is “more than just a moral imperative — it’s the responsible thing to do.”
According to filings with the PDC, Erickson has raised $5,721. Farmer has no contributions listed yet.
Richardson, who is finishing his first term on the council, has $16,528.