Pridemore has no interest in auditor spot

In 2012, Craig Pridemore really wanted to be state auditor.

The Vancouver Democrat gave up his seat in the state Senate to run for the office.

These days, not so much.

The current State Auditor Troy Kelley has been federally indicted on 10-counts, related to filing false tax returns and stealing from customers.

Despite calls from both Republicans and Democrats, including Gov. Jay Inslee, Kelley said in a recent press conference he has no intention of stepping down.

A few local Democrats said they reached out to see if Pridemore would be interested in being appointed to the post. It appears he has no intention of stepping up.

“I’m really enjoying what I’m doing now,” Pridemore wrote in a text.

Pridemore recently became the chief executive officer of Columbia River Mental Health Services. The nonprofit is one of the largest providers in the region of mental health services.

Kelley is taking a leave of absence, but said he will not resign.

“I never, ever thought I was breaking the law and I still do not to this day,” Kelley said at a press conference.

In a strongly-worded statement the governor, who could appoint someone to replace Kelley if he did step down, pleaded him to do so.

Inslee wrote it’s clear Kelley can no longer serve as auditor.

“As state auditor, your duty is to hold state and local government agencies and officials accountable so as to assure Washington citizens that their government is operating at the highest, most efficient standards,” Inslee wrote to Kelley. “But you have now been indicted for the very type of conduct that your office is tasked with regulating; in turn, you have lost the public’s trust.”

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

Scroll to top