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McCarthy sets pace in county exec race

10:44 am October 26th, 2012

Based on how the race has gone so far, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy is a heavy favorite to win re-election next month over Bruce Minker, the head of one the county’s labor groups.

McCarthy received XX percent of the votes in the primary election in August, a warmup for the general election that ends Nov. 6 with the final day of voting. McCarthy is seeking her second four-year term.

Minker, who has worked as a jail officer for 30 years, is president of Pierce County Corrections Deputy Guild. He also is a member of the executive board of Washington State Jail Association. A first-time candidate for elected office, he’s basing his campaign on being anti-tax. He promises to oppose any proposals to raise taxes, notes that he opposes and McCarthy supports Pierce Transit’s ballot measure in the general election for a sales tax increase to fund public transportation, and he accuses the county of wasteful spending the past 28 years, including McCarthy’s tenure as executive.

McCarthy takes credit for stabilizing the county budget by reducing the size of county government by improving its efficiency and consolidating programs. She also points to her regional leadership that she claims has helped bolster the aerospace industry in Pierce County and gained funding from the state for transportation projects. The budget she proposed for 2013, and which is awaiting final approval by the County Council, makes some cuts in spending, preserves funding of the Sheriff Department and eliminates 49 jobs in the county system.

Successes cited by McCarthy during her administration include two in parks and recreation – the restoration of the ice rink at Sprinker Recreation Center and the opening of Ashford County Park – and preservation of farmland.

Before being elected executive in 2008, McCarthy was the county auditor beginning in 2003. She also is a former Tacoma School Board member.

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