Peck's residency a non-issue

The Washington Democratic Party is trying to persuade voters that Republican Brian Peck may have faked his residency in order to run for the Legislature in the 17th District, where he has mounted an aggressive campaign against one-term state Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver.

But a check of the documentation cited by state and county Democratic leaders indicates that the party’s claim doesn’t hold up.

Here are the facts:

From 1999 until the spring of 2009, Peck lived in the 49th District, where he owned a house and was registered to vote.

On April 8, 2009, Peck notified the county elections department that he had moved from the 49th District to the 17th District. Peck told The Columbian he moved in with his then-girlfriend, who was also his campaign treasurer, at around that time. He said he still owns the house in the 49th and is renting it out.

On April 24, 2009, sixteen days after he notified elections officials of his address change, Peck filed his legislative candidate registration form with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission using his new address.

On April 20 of this year, Peck notified the elections department that he had moved again, to another address in the 17th District. Peck told The Columbian he moved because he broke up with his girlfriend.

Clark County elections manager Tim Likness said Peck appears to have followed election rules.

“If they’re going to file, they have to change their address before they file,” he said. “We only care about where you are when you vote, and to make sure his registration address matches the district he had to file in.”

Peck made four contributions to political campaigns between July 2009 and June of this year. According to the PDC website, his checks carried the 49th District address.

Peck said he was using up old personal checks.

Sometime during his campaign, Peck filled out a questionaire from the Association of Washington Business. A copy of the questionaire indicates that in response to the question “Years in District,” Peck wrote “10.”

That apparently was the source of a Washington Democratic Party mailer sent out last week that claims “Brian Peck says he has lived in the district for 10 years.” Probst said his campaign was not involved in the mailer.

Peck, contacted while he was canvassing for votes Monday, said that must have been a typo.

“I have never, ever claimed to have lived in the district for 10 years,” he said. “I have never made that claim.”

The Peck campaign used the accusation in a fund-raising pitch e-mailed to supporters Friday. His opponents, he said, “are saying anything they want, even complete lies and seeing if anything sticks to the wall.”

Kathie Durbin

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