Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lou Jacobson has a great roundup of state attorney general races on Stateline.org. Jacobson lists the contests in Missouri, Montana and West Virginia as the most competitive, but writes that Washington state's race is also worth watching:
For a Republican running in a blue state, Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna has positioned himself nicely. The ambitious McKenna has eschewed a hard-line conservative approach, pushing lawmakers to tighten background checks for gun purchases and joining California in suing the federal government over emissions standards. No Democrat has jumped in yet, though Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, a former tough-on-crime prosecutor, could mount a strong challenge.
I was curious about Ladenburg because Pierce County seems like a good base to start with for a statewide campaign. It's a swing county (Kerry won it with 51% of the vote) with three quarters of a million people.
But forget Pierce County, it turns out that Ladenburg's family is a good base to start with for a statewide campaign. From his biography: "John is the third of 16 children." He also has five children and seven grandchildren.
There are advantages to having a large family:
On a personal note, John once played slowpitch softball with his eight brothers and eldest son. Their team, 'The Family,' was featured in the July 1988 issue of Sports Illustrated and on Good Morning America.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.