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Liberty Lake official to run against Crouse

Tue., Sept. 25, 2007

OLYMPIA – A Liberty Lake city councilwoman has filed to run against state Rep. Larry Crouse next year.

Judith Owens, 61, has filed documents with state election officials to run as a Democratic challenger in 2008 against Crouse, a longtime Republican lawmaker who specializes in energy issues. The fourth legislative district covers the Spokane Valley area to the Idaho state line, and north nearly to Newport.

Owens is currently running unopposed for her City Council seat.

Owens, head secretary of Central Valley School District’s maintenance department, is no stranger to Olympia. She’s served on the employee retirement benefits board since 2002, when she was first appointed by then-Gov. Gary Locke. Gov. Chris Gregoire recently reappointed her for three more years.

Judging by the campaign-finance form she filed Thursday with the state Public Disclosure Commission in Olympia, Owens isn’t planning for an expensive run. She’s predicting that her campaign will raise and spend less than $3,500. Crouse raised more than $35,000 for his 2004 race and had a $44,000 war chest ready for last year’s race.

Crouse, a former Kaiser Aluminum manager, was first elected in 1994. He had no opponent when he ran for re-election last year.

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