Pierce County Executive Doug Sutherland has scheduled a series of news conferences today, when he is expected to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Sutherland, a Republican, has news conferences set for Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Yakima and Tacoma.
This summer, Sutherland, 60, formed an exploratory committee to assess his chances of winning the seat now held by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is seeking re-election.
Sutherland will be the second Republican to formally enter the 1998 race. U.S. Rep. Linda Smith of Hazel Dell began her campaign in May.
Sutherland said he will run as a candidate who can work with other office holders.
“Linda appears to be focusing on a narrow range of populist issues,” Sutherland said. “She’s caused some degree of concern over her more challenging approach to how issues are negotiated. That’s caused some concern among all Republicans, and there are enough of them that I think she’s vulnerable in the primary.”
Still thinking about getting into the Republican primary are U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt of Spokane and talk radio host John Carlson.
Sutherland is president of Mainstream Republicans of Washington, an organization formed to counter the conservative Christian wing of the GOP. Smith’s base is in that conservative Christian wing.
Sutherland is in his second term as executive of the state’s second-most populous county. He also served two terms as mayor of Tacoma.