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Why those opponents were smiling for the camera

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
June 16, 2010 12:28 pm

Jesse Miller‘s run for the Legislature was one of the bigger surprises of filing week in Pierce County, and no one was more surprised than her opponent, Rep. Steve Kirby.

Especially because he had posed for a picture with her the day she declared her candidacy.

My story in today’s News Tribune profiles Miller, who is running despite a felony conviction in her past. She’s not hiding her criminal background and in fact has been a champion of felon voting rights.

Last week, I wrote a blog post when Miller, a hip-hop producer, filed as a Republican to challenge Democrat Kirby. I included a picture Miller sent me of her with Kirby on filing day. They were smiling and seemed to be friendly competitors. Turns out only one knew they were in a competition.

“I was shocked to find out she was filing against me,” Kirby said. “She was so nice and kind and asked if she could have a picture.”

“She tricked me into taking a photo with me, and I fell into the trap.”

Kirby didn’t seem angry about it, and I don’t see how a picture like that confers much of an advantage in a campaign, anyway. Miller notes there’s no rule saying she has to broadcast her intentions.

But she clearly sees it as a bit of a shot across the bow of her opponent, who she doesn’t think has done enough to crack down on payday lenders, one of her big causes in Olympia. (Kirby says the law he helped pass was tough on the lenders.)

It’s “just to say, don’t get too comfortable,” Miller said.

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