Port Townsend attorney to challenge Norm Dicks’ seat

Paul Richmond - Courtesy photo
Paul Richmond
— image credit: Courtesy photo


Kitsap County Writer

A Port Townsend attorney is challenging U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Belfair), in what is admittedly an uphill battle.

“My middle name is David,” said Paul Richmond, who formally announced his campaign this week with events in Port Orchard and Port Townsend. “We’ll see what I can do against Goliath.”

Richmond, 46, has never held elective office. However, he feels that his advocacy efforts and long-time support of civil liberties makes him a strong candidate for Congress.

Richmond feels that Dicks’ incumbency — the congressman is in his 16th term — actually represents a disadvantage to the voters.

“Thirty-two years is a long time,” Richmond said. “I think Congressman Dicks isn’t representing our needs to Congress, rather he is representing their needs to us. This is backwards and his priorities are reversed.”

Richmond, who said he has spent much of his life “taking on the powers that be in different ways,”  claims to have spent most of his adult life advocating civil liberties. He has helped end a pilot program that had the National Guard accomp-anying police on drug raids and helped to keep the University of Washington Police from acquiring M-16 Rifles, according to a news release.

“I have often successfully argued that those with less money still have rights,” he said.

Richmond said his campaign is privately financed and has far less than the $500,000 that he said is in Dicks’ campaign fund. Aside from the financial inequity, Richmond will be at a further disadvantage if Dicks declines to participate in a debate.

“People want to know that he is involved,” Richmond said. “What better way to do this, than to debate his opponent?”

Press Secretary George Behan said that Dicks would debate any opponents who formally entered the race, but added “a lot of times people talk about running but they never file. If he (Richmond) files, we will see him on the campaign trail.”

“Government is out of control,” Richmond said. “In recent times, people on many ends of the political spectrum have warned our government is becoming so removed from the people it’s supposed to represent and so unaccountable, that we may lose all we care about.”

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