In most of urban Pierce County this summer, politics are as slow and quiet as a day at the beach. But there are hot spots on the ballot in the 26th and 28th legislative districts.
These endorsements apply to the primary only:• In the 26th — which includes the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas, Port Orchard and part of Bremerton — the Senate seat and a House seat will be decided in the November election. In both races, a single Republican faces a single Democrat.
House Position 1, though, has a three-way contest: Jesse Young, the appointed GOP incumbent, Republican Bill Scheidler and Democrat Nathan Schlicher.
In primary endorsements, we generally support two candidates, the ones we believe would best represent each major party in November. In this race, Schlicher is the Democrats’ only choice.
For the Republicans, Young — a tech consultant and Gig Harbor resident — is a slam dunk. He was chosen by his party. Scheidler is not a credible candidate.• The race for House Position 1 in Tacoma’s heavily Democratic 27th District is notable because Robert Hill — a felon and serial harasser — has inserted himself into a contest between incumbent Democrat Laurie Jinkins and Republican Rodger Deskins. Voters beware.
• The race for House Position 1 in the 28th District — west Tacoma, University Place, Lakewood and DuPont — offers the region’s most complex primary choice.
An open seat, it has attracted two Republicans, two Democrats and a candidate who “prefers Independent Party.”
Christine Kilduff of University Place and John Connelly of Lakewood are both Democratic stalwarts. He’s a home consultant with a trade union background; she’s an attorney currently serving on the University Place School Board. This is a close call, but we believe Kilduff would make the stronger Democrat in the final.
Republicans have their own stalwarts in Paul Wagemann of Lakewood and Monique Valenzuela Trudnowski of Tacoma.
Wagemann is a public-spirited citizen who’s run often in the past and who currently serves on the Clover Park School Board. He’d be a reasonable choice for Republicans.
Trudnowski, however, is an exceptional candidate who has potential for leadership in Olympia. Now a co-owner of the popular Adriatic Grill restaurant in Tacoma, she cites a Horatio Alger background as a homeless teenage girl who worked her way out of poverty in the restaurant business. She’s currently a member of the Tacoma Public Utility Board; she also recently chaired the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In the Legislature, she’d likely become a formidable Republican advocate of fiscal conservatism and a strong private sector.
The primary decides nothing in the other 28th District races. In Position 1, GOP incumbent-by-appointment Dick Muri is challenged by Democrat Mary Moss. In the Senate contest, Republican Steve O’Ban is being challenged by longtime House veteran Tami Green. There will be plenty of fireworks in that race this fall.
For more endorsements, go to thenewstribune.com/endorsements.