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Eye On Olympia

Endorsements and counting coup…

The Pierce County sheriff’s deputies’ union last night endorsed Attorney General Rob McKenna for re-election after interviewing both McKenna and his Democratic opponent, Pierce County executive (and former local prosecutor) John Ladenburg.

Political reporters get a lot of “endorsed by” press releases this time of year, and because they would quickly fill up the paper, most of them go straight to the round file. And still they come. Candidates enjoy the stamp of approval and likely fundraising boost, and the groups get a sense of political clout.

As the McKenna announcement illustrates, endorsements also provide a handy opportunity to count coup on an opponent. Which is why his three-paragraph announcement carefully noted in the first sentence that the Pierce County deputies’ endorsement was “right in (Ladenburg’s) backyard.”

For a local example of this sort of political noogie, see the 6th Legislative district (western Spokane) primary faceoff between businessman Kevin Parker and Mel Lindauer. Both Republicans are aiming to unseat Rep. Don Barlow in November.

Both Lindauer and Parker are strong candidates running pretty well-funded campaigns. But in an obvious shot across the bow of Lindauer — an optometric physician — Parker last month secured and propmptly announced the endorsement of the Washington Academy of Eye Physicians.

“In a race which has drawn the attention of physicians across Washington, particularly eye doctors, I am honored an humbled by this strong statement of support,”
Parker said at the time.

Firing back, Lindauer yesterday announced that the state’s Optometric Physicians of Washington had “pledged its full support” to his campaign. So, he said, has the Inland Society of Optometric Physicians.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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