Julie Anderson is not a Democrat, and she will not be running for Pierce County Executive in 2016.
Anderson made this much clear after my column today passingly referred to her as a Democrat, serving in the nonpartisan position of County Auditor. She sent an email at 5:47 a.m. stating, “I am not a Democrat. Please correct as soon as possible,” and followed up shortly after we made the correction with an email saying: “I will never run for a partisan office under a party banner. If I run for a partisan office, it will be as an Independent.”
This may come as a surprise to some local Democrats. Anderson’s name is frequently mentioned in political circles as a favorite among area Democrats to replace Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, whose term expires next year.
Apparently, that’s not going to happen. Anderson said this afternoon she will not be running for County Executive, and that she’s made the choice to pursue nonpartisan positions during her political career for ideological reasons. While she admits to being “very sympathetic,” to a number of typically Democratic causes, regularly attending local Democratic events, and has received endorsements from the Pierce County Democrats in the past, Anderson insists that she feels strongly about not aligning herself with any one party.
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Anderson says her last official affiliation with the Democratic Party was in 2002, when she served as a precinct committee officer. “I don’t like partisan politics,” she explains of her decision to remain independent. “I don’t want to endorse [the Democratic Party].”
“Political parties are really about values, and Julie certainly shares a lot of the values of the Democratic Party,” said Linda Isenson, chair of the Pierce County Democrats, when asked about the confusion. Isenson confirmed that during her nearly four years with the Pierce County Democrats, Anderson has never had an official affiliation with the party.
“I don’t think that she’s trying to be reticent about it," Isenson said. "I really think that she doesn’t like the divisiveness of party politics, and I can certainly appreciate that.”