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Tag: James Watkins


James Watkins concedes state auditors’ race to Tacoma Rep. Troy Kelley

The Republican wished his opponent well, after a bruising campaign in which Watkins exposed past accusations of misconduct from Kelley’s business career.

For all that controversy, Kelley had a few advantages: Centrist credentials from his time in the Legislature; an ability to self-fund his campaign and outspend Watkins; and most of all, the Democratic Party label next to his name.

Democrats have swept the seven statewide partisan races that have been called so far. Only close races for governor and secretary of state remain uncalled, with Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Kim Wyman, respectively, leading their opponents.

Here’s Watkins’s statement:

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Auditor’s office gets campaign calls; James Watkins says it won’t happen again

Campaign workers for state-auditor candidate James Watkins solicited contributions from auditor’s office employees at work — a practice Watkins acknowledges is inappropriate. He says he didn’t condone the calls to state-government offices and has put a stop to them.

“I apologize for any impropriety and it will not happen again,” Watkins told me.

Auditor Brian Sonntag said he contacted Watkins to ask for the calls to stop. “I sent him off a quick text and said, ‘You may not be aware, but some of our staff are getting phone calls soliciting donations,’” he said. Sonntag, a Democrat who has praised

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Troy Kelley tries to turn tables, go after James Watkins at AWB debate

After a week of answering questions about his business dealings, Troy Kelley went on the offensive today over rival James Watkins’ resume.

At an Association of Washington Business-sponsored debate in Cle Elum between the two candidates for state auditor, Tacoma Democrat Kelley parried attacks about past allegations of theft and questioned Redmond Republican Watkins’ claim to have done 150 performance audits of businesses and governments in his career.

Kelley demanded details and said the number “strains credibility” when current Auditor Brian Sonntag has conducted a third of that total since voters in 2005 gave him the right to do performance audits

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James Watkins unloads accusations on Troy Kelley

The state auditor’s race is getting personal.

Republican James Watkins today unloaded a laundry list of allegations against Democrat Troy Kelley, based on lawsuits over the past decade involving Kelley and business associates.

We’ll be checking the claims and reporting what we find. You can see for yourself what Watkins has posted on a website he unveiled today, including hundreds of court documents.

Kelley worked as an executive for First American Title Insurance Co. before starting his own company to track documents such as title to property. He is also a National Guard lieutenant colonel.

Many of the documents came

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Watkins in 1st, Kelley leads Democrats for state auditor

Rep. Troy Kelley leads a trio of Democratic lawmakers in early returns tonight in the race to succeed State Auditor Brian Sonntag.

The sole Republican, James Watkins of Redmond, has the overall lead as expected with 46 percent, followed by Kelley with 24 percent — threatening elimination for Vancouver Sen. Craig Pridemore (not far behind at 20 percent) and Federal Way Rep. Mark Miloscia (10 percent). All three are giving up their seats to run for auditor.

The top two vote-getters advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

Kelley, a Tacoma business owner, chipped in $240,000 of his own money and spent it

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Pierce County Young Democrats endorse a Republican: auditor candidate Watkins

This weekend at the state GOP convention, Republican James Watkins was touting an unusual endorsement — from the Pierce County Young Democrats.

The group picked its slate of endorsements this week, which otherwise features a host of Democrats from President Barack Obama on down. But for the first time in its leader’s recollection, it also picked a Republican in a partisan race, for state auditor.

“They did that because good government is a universal value,” Watkins told the convention.

Watkins won the support of 70 percent of the 30 voters — in part, probably, because he was the only candidate for auditor to

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Republican James Watkins to run for state auditor

James Watkins, a Redmond Republican who ran for Congress in 2010, wants to replace Brian Sonntag when he steps down as state auditor.

Watkins filed for office this week, becoming the first Republican in a race that also includes two Democrats, state Sen. Craig Pridemore of Vancouver and state Rep. Mark Miloscia of Federal Way.

Watkins is a business development consultant who says he has led more than 150 performance audits in his career, which he cites as experience that makes him uniquely qualified for the job. He said he’s the “the only candidate running who actually does performance audits for a living.”

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