Neophyte candidates for County Council and state senator aren’t daunted by long odds and experienced opponents
By Pat Jenkins/The Dispatch
For his first run for public office, Corey Drury is up against two opponents who between them have won 13 elections and served 38 years in office.
And he doesn’t feel the least bit overmatched.
“I just have to work that much harder” to win votes, said Drury, a 25-year-old Republican candidate for Position 3 on the Pierce County Council.
For voters in the Graham and Eatonville areas, Drury is one of two third-wheel candidates in this fall’s election. The other is Jim Vaughn, a Republican running for state senator in the Second District. Both of them are political newcomers in races where the opposition is much better known and far more experienced in the political world and at campaigning.
State Rep. Jim McCune, a Republican, and Democrat Marilyn Rasmussen are the bigger-name candidates in the council race.
McCune is leaving the Legislature because redistricting – a process required by law that reshapes legislative districts to balance their populations – left him outside the Second District, which he represented for 10 years.
Rasmussen, meanwhile, is continuing her attempts at a political comeback after her own long tenure as a state legislator (22 years) that ended in 2008 with her loss in a bid for re-election to the Senate. She tried in the 2010 election to unseat McCune but lost. She also was an Eatonville School Board member for six years in the 1980s.
McCune and Drury will run against each other in the primary election in August, with the top votegetter moving ahead to face Rasmussen in the general election in November.
Vaughn has a similar scenario – a primary race against Sen. Randi Becker, who is seeking her second four-year term, and another experienced campaigner, Democrat Bruce Lachney, awaiting the Becker-Vaughn winner for the November runoff. Lachney lost a race in 2010 for County Council. He also is a former Eatonville School Board member.
A former military analyst who has a small farm in Orting and runs a business that helps military veterans find jobs, Vaughn is positioning himself as a non-establishment candidate. He’s critical of the state’s budget and its tax structure and insists on different approaches to both.
In campaign statements, Vaugh has said, “I am not going to Olympia to be politically correct and participate in the standard business practices that have our state in a financial disaster.”
Drury, too, sees his lack of experience in elected office as a plus when he’s compared to McCune and Rasmussen. “We need a fresh face, not a career politician,” he said.
His age, which is less than half of his opponents, and his lack of name familiarity with voters don’t have to hinder him, either, Drury said.
“I have to knock on five times as many doors and stand at more intersections to get noticed,” he said. “It’s about who will work the hardest. My opponents might have more experience, but they won’t outwork me.”
The Spanaway-area resident is an engineer for Pacific Northwest Backing in Sumner. Growing up, he was drawn to political science and similar courses at Spanaway High School and Pierce College. That background drew him into the council race.
“In my job, I know the importance of good management and spending money wisely,” he said. “And I’ve always been interested in politics. So when I saw that (Councilman Roger Bush, unable to seek re-election because of term limits) wasn’t running, I considered it an opportunity to get involved and try to make a positive change.”
State senator (four-year term)
James E. Vaughn (Republican)
Randi Becker (Republican)
Bruce L. Lachney (Democratic)
State representative Position 1 (two-year term)
Gary Alexander (Republican)
Greg Hartman (Democrat)
State representative Position 2 (two-year term)
J.T. Wilcox (Republican)
Executive (four-year term)
Pat McCarthy (Democrat)
Bruce Minker (No party preference)
Assessor-treasurer (four-year term, non-partisan)
Sheriff (four-year term, non-partisan)
County Council No. 2
(Prefers Republican Party)
Daniel (J.R.) Wikane (Republican)
Jeffery Hogan (Republican)
County Council No. 3 (four-year term)
Jim McCune (Republican)
Corey J. Drury (Republican)
Marilyn Rasmussen (Democrat)
County Council No. 4
Connie Ladenburg (Democrat)
Ken J. Grassi (Republican)
Chris Nye (Republican)
Sharon Benson (Democrat)
County Council No. 6
Ann Dasch (Democrat)
Doug Richardson (Republican)
James R. Orlando
Katherine M. Stolz
Thomas P. Larkin
John (Jack) H. Hill
Vicki L. Hogan
Antoni H. Froehling
James A. Schoenberger, Jr.
Susan Keers Serko
Thomas J. Felnagle
Elizabeth P. Martin
Ronald E. Culpepper
G. Helen Whitener
Linda CJ Lee
Kitty-Ann van Doorninck
Frank E. Cuthbertson
Judge Position 22
John R. Hickman