Steve Tucker has a new challenger in the race for Spokane County prosecutor.
Chris Bugbee, a 42-year-old Republican who worked six years as a deputy prosecutor, has announced his bid to unseat his former boss. He joins fellow Republican David Stevens and Democrat Frank Malone in what is now a four-way race for the position.
“I think the office needs a real leader,” Bugbee said in reference to his former boss. “I don’t think Mr. Stevens is an appropriate candidate. I think he has demonstrated some questionable judgment. I fear that if he is going to be making those decisions as elected prosecutor, the consequences to the public will be even bigger.”
Bugbee, who has been working since 2002 as a defense attorney, had nice things to say about Malone.
“He’s a very decent guy whom I like,” he said. “But he doesn’t have the experience from the prosecutor side to run that office. I’m the only one who has experience on both sides.”
Bugbee worked from 1996 to 2002 as a deputy Spokane County Prosecutor. Starting out with misdemeanors, Bugbee later worked with drug cases. For his last three years under Tucker, he prosecuted major crimes.
Bugbee is representing Cole Strandberg, the mentally ill man charged with first-degree murder for the Jan. 7, 2008, slaying of 22-year-old Jennifer Bergeron.
Strandberg was a prominent figure in a recent “Behind Bars” TV episode on the Discovery Channel that explored how jailers deal with problem inmates in the Spokane County Jail.