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Roach race: Mother and son could form powerful voting bloc on Pierce County Council

State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Sumner (left), is running for Pierce County Council in 2016. Her son, Dan Roach (right), is the council chairman.
State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Sumner (left), is running for Pierce County Council in 2016. Her son, Dan Roach (right), is the council chairman.

Fiery state Sen. Pam Roach proudly claims it was “a Guinness Book of World Records item” when she and her son, Dan Roach, served a decade together in the Legislature.

“No one submitted it. But at the time, I checked it out,” Pam Roach, a Republican, said this week.

The mother and son could end up serving together again if Pam Roach wins her race for Pierce County Council next fall. Dan Roach, also a Republican, is currently the council chairman.

While Dan Roach is running for county executive in 2016, if he loses that race he still would serve on the council for another two years.

Either way — as councilman or executive — Dan Roach would be working in closer proximity with his mother if she joins the council than he did when they were two of 147 members of the Legislature, where they served in different chambers.

The Roaches are conservative Republicans, and by their own accounts share many of the same views, which could create a powerful voting bloc on the seven-member council.

“I think she’d be a real ally,” Dan Roach said last week. “I know where she stands politically, obviously, because I’ve worked in the Legislature, and she has a 20-some year record of what she’s all about.”

Alternatively, if Dan Roach is elected as executive, policies promoted by his mother could find a friendly reception in his office, rather than a veto pen.

“I think if we were really different ideologically, then it could be pretty interesting. But we really aren’t that far off,” Dan Roach said. “For the most part, we share pretty much the same thinking about how we vote.”

Some of the values the mother and son share include a passion for open government and protecting taxpayers from onerous tax increases, Pam Roach said.

Pam Roach’s election to the council wouldn’t alter its Republican majority, since she is looking to replace fellow Republican Joyce McDonald, who can’t run again due to term limits.

However, Pam Roach joked that if she is elected and her son stays on the council, it would be difficult for them to travel together.

“Given the very thin majority, it would be very hard for us to take a family vacation,” Pam Roach said. “You can’t leave without having your majority protected.”

If both Roaches wanted to go to a national convention, for instance, it could pose a problem, Pam Roach said.

That’s not an issue now. She said she and Dan recently attended a conference of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council at the same time.

But if she and her son were on the council? “Somebody’s staying home,” Pam Roach said.

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