After making the rounds last week to explore running for Pierce County executive in 2008,
state Auditor Brian Sonntag told us today he has decided not to seek the post.
The announcement was surprising, since candidates who publicly start “exploring” potential candidacies more often than not end up running. Sonntag has a lot of political capital: He’s been elected state auditor twice, previously served as county clerk (under the old commission form of government) and as Pierce County auditor. His father was a longtime county clerk, and his brother, Dick, is a former Tacoma School Board member and city councilman.
One thing that might have deterred Sonntag was the inevitable perception, fair or not, that he was interested mainly in the executive’s salary, recently raised to $160,000. His current pay as state auditor is about $97,000. In an email, Sonntag said he concluded the state auditor’s job was “a good fit for my values and skills.”