Challenger enters race against Rep. Anderson
December 22, 2009
The race to represent Issaquah in Olympia kicked off last week, months before voters receive ballots.
Dean Willard, a Sammamish resident, former T-Mobile executive and Democrat, entered the 2010 race for the state House seat held by Glenn Anderson.
Anderson, a Fall City Republican, was first elected to represent the 5th District in 2000, and re-elected subsequently.
Willard said the district has changed since Anderson was elected almost a decade ago. The first-time candidate said he would work to convince voters to send “a more moderate representative” to Olympia.
Willard cited population growth in the district, and said new residents helped shift the character from rural to suburban.
Voters “are looking for a pragmatic Democrat who is interested in solving problems,” he said.
Anderson said he looks forward to the contest. He noted the challenges lawmakers face due to the recession and fewer dollars for state programs.
“We live in a time where just because there is so much anxiety and economic stress, we are going to be living with the consequences of these elections for a long time into the future,” Anderson said. “I think it’s a good thing to have robust debates about where do we go and how do we do it. We all benefit from that. And if Mr. Willard has something to contribute, then all the better.”
Anderson filed paperwork in June with the state Public Disclosure Commission in order to raise money for a 2010 re-election bid. The incumbent had raised about $19,000 by late December, records show.
Anderson plans to step up campaign activities after the legislative session wraps in the spring.
“You’re supposed to be the voice of what people are trying to get accomplished, as opposed to tooting your own horn about what your self-important perception is,” Anderson said. “People don’t like that too much.”
Willard, a former vice president at Bellevue-based T-Mobile, works as an information technology and security consultant. The local state Democratic committeeman volunteered for Joe Mallahan, the T-Mobile executive who lost a bid last month to become Seattle mayor. He also volunteered for Democrats in past 5th District races.
Willard said as a Democrat he could be a more effective representative than Anderson. Democrats control both houses in the Legislature. Gov. Chris Gregoire is also a Democrat.
Anderson was re-elected last year. He garnered about 52 percent of the vote over challenger David Spring.
Anderson is the ranking member on the House Higher Education Committee. He also serves on the Capital Budget and Education Appropriations committees.
Besides Issaquah, Sammamish and Fall City, the 5th District includes Snoqualmie, North Bend, Maple Valley and parts of unincorporated King County.