Local election races to watch in 2012 | Bob Roegner
By BOB ROEGNER
Federal Way Mirror Inside Politics
February 23, 2012 · Updated 6:01 PM
Most of the political attention has been focused on the Republican presidential primary, and it has been truly entertaining. There are still local races to track.
The latest polling numbers continue to show Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna with a solid lead in the race for governor over Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee.
Because the Legislature is in session, McKenna is not allowed to raise money, and Inslee has been taking advantage of that temporary opening. Unless he is able to cut into McKenna’s strength in King County, money alone won’t be enough to reduce McKenna’s lead. There is plenty of time for Inslee to make up ground, but it still appears to be McKenna’s race to lose.
With McKenna vacating the Attorney General’s office, most attention has been on King County Councilmembers Bob Ferguson (a Democrat) and Reagan Dunn (a Republican) — and their campaign to replace him. Some of Dunn’s conservative base were surprised when he joined a majority of the King County Council in supporting gay marriage. That decision cuts two ways. It enabled him to neutralize the issue with Ferguson in voter-heavy King County and could help him attract independents. But it may have also attracted a primary challenge from Stephen Pidgeon, who is a gay marriage opponent and is active in the I-1192 campaign to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant, a Republican who was at one time rumored to be interested in the governor’s race, may be leaning toward the U.S. Senate.
The most interesting local race will be to replace Mark Miloscia (D-Federal Way) in the State House. Former city council candidate Roger Flygare recently announced he is a candidate. Flygare is a Democrat. He joins Federal Way City Councilmember Linda Kochmar, a Republican, who announced a few weeks ago. Thom McFarlane and Rick Hoffman, both Democrats, have been circulating as possible candidates. Because of his recent run for the city council, Flygare has a higher level of name familiarity. One of the keys on the Democratic side will be who the House Democratic caucus will support because they control the flow of money.
Kochmar’s kickoff was held Thursday. Secretary of State Sam Reed was expected to attend. Kochmar has already gained the endorsement of several mayors and council members.
So far, the big question mark has been Federal Way School Board President Tony Moore, who filed the paperwork several weeks ago. His dates for a formal announcement keep slipping, causing questions about his candidacy. They could get answered this week, or he could wait until after the legislative session, or wait until the school board decides what to do about Federal Way High School. Moore is a Republican and previously has run for both the House and State Senate. He is more conservative than Kochmar and will likely get support from that group. Kochmar must find a way to appeal to moderates and independents. She may also try and compete for some Democratic crossover votes.
Incumbent State Rep. Katrina Asay, a Republican, is expected to run for re-election.
There will be more interesting twists as the election season unfolds.