Opinion

State auditor race opens doors in Federal Way | Bob Roegner

Heads up political fans: another race in 2012 just got a lot more interesting and a lot more local. Recently, State Auditor Brian Sonntag announced that he will not run for re-election next year.

Sonntag had been considering a run for governor, but pulled out a few weeks ago. He then sounded like he was planning to run for re-election. So his surprise retirement caught many unprepared.

How is the decision of a state official from Pierce County considered local?

Because state auditor is the job District 30 Democratic State Rep. Mark Miloscia has always wanted. He announced his candidacy within days of Sonntag’s statement and is already raising money.

Republicans have never been successful in defeating Miloscia. The vacating of his position will make things exciting.

Previously, Democrats had been looking for a candidate to run against first-term House member Katrina Asay. Now they will also have to defend Miloscia’s position.

While it is early and only speculation, if Miloscia does follow through and run for auditor, there are several well known possible candidates for his House seat.

The logical Republican names are Federal Way City Councilman Jim Ferrell, who ran for the House before; Councilwoman Linda Kochmar; Councilman Jack Dovey; Federal Way School Board President Tony Moore, who ran for the Senate last year; and fellow school board member Ed Barney, who ran last year.

Also, if his run for the South King Fire and Rescue board of commissioners comes up short, Jerry Galland could be interested. He also ran for the Legislature before.

The Democrats do not have a deep bench to pull from, but Federal Way City Councilman Roger Freeman could be a possibility. Or would Carol Gregory give it another try? If he doesn’t get elected to the city council, could Roger Flygare be interested? Or Keith Tyler, if he doesn’t defeat Dini Duclos for the council? And regardless of whether she retains her council seat, could Duclos be interested? If so, which party would she represent?

At one point, the Democrats thought Amye Bronson-Doherty might have a future in higher office. She is stepping down from the school board and says no.

Some thought Liz Drake might be interested, but she stopped her campaign for the school board to take a job with the school district. So, probably not. Although, if Drake’s contract with the district is not renewed next spring, then who knows?

What if two or more council members get in the race? Won’t that make council meetings more interesting?

And if one of the council members runs and wins, then that would set up an appointment for a new council member.

Or, what if Moore and Barney run and and one of them wins? Then there would be a school board vacancy to fill.

Since other Democratic names being floated for state auditor are former political powerhouse Brian Ebersole and current House member Chris Reykdal, what happens six months from now if Miloscia changes his mind and all these other candidates are already running for his House position?

And just to keep you thinking through the endless possibilities, what if one of the candidates decides to run for Miloscia’s seat, but switches from one political party to the other?

Far-fetched? Maybe not as much as you think.

So what will happen?

Jim Ferrell could have looked like the front-runner, but in a surprise, he says he definitely won’t run for the House. With that announcement, Ferrell’s political options are dwindling. We’ll check on him later.

Most likely to run at this point are Republicans Tony Moore and Linda Kochmar. But there will be more. Check yesterday’s election results to see who won and who didn’t — and who had good vote totals. There could be some candidates there.

This will be fun.

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