Tacoma City Councilman Mike Lonergan has just announced he will run for Pierce County Executive in 2008. He said he will run as an independent.
Oddly, Lonergan sent his press release with a request to hold it until Thursday, but within minutes the news was all over the county. Can’t keep a secret like that.
In his press release (see below), he noted the executive’s race will be decided in a November ranked-choice voting election. RCV, or instant-runoff voting as it is also known, presumably gives independents like Lonergan a better chance. Voters who make their first choice a Republican or a Democrat could still mark an independent (or some other candidate) as their second choice.
If Pierce County Auditor Pat McCarthy jumps into the executive’s race as expected, there will be at least two Democrats in the field, the other being County Councilman Calvin Goings. Republican County Councilman Shawn Bunney will also be a contender.
For Lonergan’s statement, read on:
HOLD FOR RELEASE THURSDAY NOVEMBER 8, 2007
CONTACT: MIKE LONERGAN 759-3252, CELL 318-1806
Lonergan announces "grassroots" independent campaign for County Executive
Tacoma City Council Member Mike Lonergan today officially declared his candidacy for Pierce County Executive. Lonergan, 58, cited extensive experience as an executive and manager in both non-profit organizations and private business as a qualification for the elected position.
"In the past six years, I’ve helped increase the public’s trust in City government, by improving performance, controlling spending and setting high ethical standards," Lonergan said. "We can do the same at the County level, if we put aside partisan differences and recognize that government exists to serve all our citizens."
Lonergan says he will file and campaign as an Independent, rather than taking on a party label. He is currently serving his second four-year term as an At-Large City Council Member, which is a non-partisan position. The election for County Executive will be conducted by the new Ranked Choice Voting method in November 2008.
The candidate sees crime reduction and local career opportunities as paramount issues on the minds of Pierce County voters. He promised detailed plans to address these concerns as his campaign develops in the coming months. "This will be a true grassroots campaign to elect an experienced executive, rather than a politician," Lonergan said. "It will be fun too, with people of all ages throughout the county getting involved."
Lonergan has been tapped for a number of regional leadership positions in recent years. He currently chairs the Pierce County Regional Council, a forum of elected officials from cities and towns throughout the county. He is also chair of the Puget Sound Growth Management Policy Board, which is putting finishing touches on "Vision 2040," a plan for dealing with future population and job growth in Pierce, King, Kitsap and Snohomish Counties.
Previously, Lonergan served for over twenty years in executive positions with the Tacoma Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. He lives in the Proctor neighborhood of Tacoma with his wife Paula. They have two married sons and one grandson.
Lonergan is past president of several local organizations, including Kiwanis, Gideons and Tacoma Little Theatre. He is active in Peace Assembly church and was steering committee chair of the recent Franklin Graham Festival.
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