Tribal official will challenge Kelly Barlean
June 25, 2008 · Updated 12:10 PM
"Democrat John McCoy, the governmental affairs director for the Tulalip Tribes, will take on first-term Republican Kelly Barlean for a 10th District seat in the state House.McCoy plans to make a formal announcement of his candidacy Thursday before a group of tribal elders at the the Tulalip Tribal Center near Marysville. This will be his first run for public office.I think it's fitting that I announce my campaign to our elders. They have instilled their values in me. I intend to carry on their high standards, McCoy said in a news release.McCoy is no stranger to the political arena, said his campaign manager Shelly McDonald on Tuesday. She said McCoy often travels to Washington, D.C. to lobby on behalf of the tribe. He has also been a prominent tribal spokesman on issues regarding the tribe's Marysville casino and a proposed business park on Tulalip land.But McCoy said many of the issues he has worked with in his position with the tribe, such as growth, environmental protection, transportation and education, are also issues districtwide.The tribe and the district have a lot in common, he said. We're all concerned about development and infrastructure, about maintaining a way of life that is unique to the Pacific Northwest while also acknowledging that our region is growing.Barlean, a Langley resident who practices law in Everett, announced in late June that he wants to keep the 10th District, Position 2 seat he has held in the House for the last two years. In 1998, Barlean narrowly won election over retired Skagit County teacher Alec McDougall with only about 300 votes separating the pair. In his first term Barlean became the only freshman Republican appointed to the House Appropriations Committee and later became its vice-chairman.McCoy served in the United States Air Force and worked for the Unisys company in computer services prior to his work with the Tulalip tribes. He and his wife Jeannie have lived on the Tulalip Reservation since 1994."