Priest back in game again

Skip Priest is back in the game.

Priest, a former Federal Way mayor and City Council member, has formally announced his candidacy as a Republican for the state House of Representatives seat that Rep. Maryann Mitchell is giving up.

A campaign kickoff event is scheduled for April 21 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Federal Way.

Priest is returning to elected politics after losing a bid for state representative in 1998. He beat Ann Murphy, then a Federal Way School Board member, in the primary election but lost to Democrat Mark Miloscia by about 2,000 votes in the runoff.

This time around, Priest has no announced opposition so far. Candidates will begin officially filing this summer for the fall elections.

Besides his own contest four years ago, Priest made headlines for a newspaper advertisement in which he criticized Tracey Eide, a Democrat running for the 30th District Senate seat, for using “half-truths and innuendoes” in her campaign material against incumbent Ray Schow, a Republican. Eide won the race.

Mitchell, who announced earlier she wouldn’t seek re-election this fall and will retire from elected politics after eight years in the Legislature, said she is “delighted” that Priest could be her successor.

The veteran Republican lawmaker said Priest “has been a community activist since moving to Federal Way in 1990. The positive influences he has had on Federal Way will leave a better place to live for everyone, and I’m certain that this will carry over” if he’s elected to the Legislature.

A small-businessman, Priest is the president of Priest Company Inc., a land management and business consulting company. He also has held senior management positions with American Express and Burlington Northern Companies.

In the community, he’s a leader of citizen-based efforts to preserve the Hylebos wetlands.

Priest grew up in Brewster, Wash. He now lives in Federal Way with his wife Trisha, son Zachary and daughter Amanda.

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