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Filing Day two: Takko gets a challenger, prosecutor race is official

State Rep. Dean Takko formally drew a challenger and the election for county prosecutor officially became a contested race as filing for public office drew to a close Tuesday afternoon.

State Reps. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim; and Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, also filed for re-election, but neither have drawn challengers, so far.

The prosecutor race will see both Interim Chief Criminal Deputy Katie Svoboda and former prosecutor and judge Mike Spencer face off. Svoboda filed as a Democrat on Monday and Spencer filed as a member of the Democratic Party.

Spencer had been considering filing as something different in the face of controversy involving the Grays Harbor Democrats snubbing him when he sought the appointment to the prosecutor position.

Takko, D-Longview, is being challenged by Libertarian David A. Steenson of Longview.

Steenson says on his website that he decided to become a candidate “to reignite Constitutional fervor with ‘We The People,’ get government out of our personal lives; give the responsibility back to the individual, allowing so, builds strong families and businesses, so they can grow without overbearing regulations and taxes.”

Steenson says he’s a veteran, having served in the military from 1979 through 2012.

Takko, the retired Cowlitz County assessor, has been a state representative since 2004. He now serves as chairman of the Local Government Committee in the House. He’s a hunting and fishing advocate, having traveled all over the world on hunting vacations.

Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, also formally filed for re-election on Tuesday. He’s already drawn a challenger in Republican Hugh Fleet, a retired telecommunications specialist, who now lives in the South Bend area.

Filing week continues until 4:30 p.m., Friday at the Grays Harbor Auditor’s Office.