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After Troy Kelley trial, a battle for who will take over State Auditor’s Office

A grim-faced Troy Kelley walks out of the federal courthouse in downtown Tacoma on April 25, 2016, a day before a jury acquitted him of one felony charge and deadlocked on 14 others.
A grim-faced Troy Kelley walks out of the federal courthouse in downtown Tacoma on April 25, 2016, a day before a jury acquitted him of one felony charge and deadlocked on 14 others. phaley@thenewstribune.com

State Auditor Troy Kelley wasn’t convicted of any crime in his trial that ended last month.

Yet the Tacoma Democrat still won’t be on the ballot this fall, or leading the State Auditor’s Office come next year.

Kelley — who federal prosecutors accused of stealing $3 million from homeowners, evading taxes on it and lying under oath — didn’t file to run for re-election by Friday, the last day candidates could submit paperwork to run for office.

Last month, a jury acquitted Kelley of one of the charges against him and deadlocked on 14 others.

Now, five candidates are looking to take over the Auditor’s Office, which is charged with rooting out financial fraud and waste in government agencies.

Three of those candidates have already been raising money: Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, a Democrat; State Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way; and Democrat Jeff Sprung, a Seattle lawyer. Sprung has a substantial fundraising lead, having raised $181,000 to Miloscia’s $50,000 and McCarthy’s $31,000.

Two other candidates also jumped into the race this week: Mark Wilson, who identifies himself as an independent, and David Golden, who lists no party preference.

A primary election Aug. 2 will decide which two candidates advance to the Nov. 8 general election.

In the five-day candidate filing period that ended Friday, about 675 candidates filed for 345 federal, legislative, statewide and judicial offices tracked by the Office of the Secretary of State. Not included in that count are the candidates who filed with county auditor offices for local government positions.

Melissa Santos: 360-357-0209, @melissasantos1

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