Bruce Dammeier (R) is running for Pierce County executive Courtesy Bruce Dammeier

Former state Sen. Bruce Dammeier (R) of Puyallup is in the race for Pierce County executive.

“The Key Peninsula is a very special place with a ton of culture, unique to itself,” he said. “When the country was hit by the recession, the KP recovered much more slowly. It’s the farthest out, the most disenfranchised.”

Inspired by his parents, who had strong expectations for him to give back to the community, Dammeier served on the Puyallup School Board for eight years. If elected, he would be the first Pierce County executive without a Tacoma address.

“The seed of this job was planted four years ago when a senior executive with the county was requiring an engineering firm to pay for an attorney where the county was being sued,” Dammeier said. “I found them abusive and arrogant, not fair and honest. The county needs a culture change. It has become bureaucratic and nonresponsive. It has lost its way. It’s time to shake the tree and help it remember who it serves. I want to restore a culture that we can be proud of.”

A Pierce County native and U.S. Navy veteran, Dammeier said he has an understanding of the military, the huge veteran population and the concept of service. He said he is a proven leader.

Dammeier’s family has been in the printing business in Pierce County since 1934. “I know what it takes to hire, to run a business in the private sector,” he said. “Creating new family-wage jobs has got to be the top priority.”

Dammeier served in the state Legislature as a Republican. “Even in Olympia I have proven my ability to bring people together across party lines to solve really difficult problems—to get to ‘yes,’” he said. “I collaborated and negotiated strong bipartisan budgets. I get things done.”

Dammeier said he is aware of some issues important to the Key Peninsula, and that he is “going to work very hard on their behalf.” He listed local priorities as including economic prosperity; finding innovative ways to deliver county services back to the community, especially stronger crime prevention and law enforcement; and addressing chemical dependency, mental health and homelessness on the KP.