Election picture is now in focus

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

The race is on and here come the candidates.

The official filing period for political office ended Friday and the results were just as expected in the regional races.

In the 31st Legislative District, the Senate seat and both state House seats have drawn one Democrat and one Republican. With one candidate from each party, the races pass the Sept. 19 primary and move directly to the Nov. 7 general election.

The marquee race in the 31st Legislative District is the rematch of challenger Yvonne Ward, D-Auburn, and incumbent Pam Roach, R-Auburn, for state senator.

The last time around, Ward gave Roach her toughest challenge since her first Senate election and this race is drawing the attention of both state parties.

Roach won her seat in 1990 beating Mike Todd by 345 votes.

Both state House Representative seats are being contested for the first time in six years.

Democrat Christopher Hurst of Greenwater is challenging incumbent Jan Shabro, R-Lake Tapps, for Position 2.

Hurst is going for the seat he won in 1998 after beating Les Thomas. He held the seat until 2002 when he decided not to seek re-election.

Shabro served as a Pierce County Council member until 2002. She has held the seat through two election cycles and is facing a challenge for the first time.

Karen Willard, a Democrat from the Wilkeson area, will try to unseat Republican Dan Roach of Bonney Lake.

Willard is a political newcomer who has been an active member of the party at the precinct level.

Roach is running for his fourth term in Position 1. He won the seat in 2000 after beating Mike Stenson and Don Bingham. Roach lost to Stenson in 1998.

Shawn Bunney, R-Lake Tapps, will be on the ballot for the District 1 seat on the Pierce County Council. Bunney is running for his second term and is unopposed.

The 8th Congressional District, which includes the Plateau and south and east King County including Bellevue and Duvall, has a hotly-contested race between Democratic challenger Darcy Burner from Carnation and first-term incumbent Dave Reichert, R-Bellevue.

The national Democratic Party is focusing money and energy on the race based on the political adage a first term congressman is vulnerable.

Reichert is receiving considerable backing from the state and national Republican Party. He won his first time out beating Democrat Dave Ross 51.5 percent to 46.7.

The statewide headliner will be the U.S. Senate race. Incumbent Maria Cantwell, D-Edmonds, in her first term, will be facing a handful of Democrats in the primary. Cantwell is the odds-on favorite to prevail as is Republican challenger Mike McGavick, who is also facing Republican challengers in the primary.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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