By SCOTT PESZNECKER
Although the primary election is still more than six months off, Trudy Lackey of Murphys has already announced that she will take on longtime Calaveras County Supervisor Tom Tryon.
"I had a lot of different people ask me to run, so I started thinking about it," said Lackey, executive director of the Calaveras Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers grants to local programs."I see it as a kind of outgrowth of community development and my involvement with the community over a number of years."
A Murphys resident who has lived in Calaveras County since 1992 and a Vallecito Union School District trustee, Lackey announced Friday she would run for Tryon's District 4 (Angels Camp-Murphys) seat in the March 2 primary. Lackey is Tryon's only challenger so far.
Also in March, the District 1 and District 2 seats will be on the ballot. Those seats are now held by San Andreas resident Lucy Thein and West Point resident Paul Stein, respectively.
The incumbent Tryon in his 19th year as supervisor is no stranger to competition. He has never run unopposed.
"I've always won, but just by the smallest of margins," Tryon said yesterday. "That's why people think I'm vulnerable."
Asked about her political agenda, Lackey said she wants improved public transportation and more affordable housing two things that Tryon has said should not be regulated by government.
"Tryon declares himself a libertarian, and I am independent," Lackey said. "I feel I'm open to all sides of the question."
But Tryon, a staunch private-property-rights advocate and fiscal conservative, said his own strength is his willingness to be open and honest about his political views on specific subjects. He said Lackey has yet to pinpoint her opinion on specific subjects.
Lackey declined to comment when asked about her top priorities if elected, saying too much could happen between now and Jan. 1, 2005, when she would take office.
"It will be interesting to see how she differentiates herself between my political positions on the board," Tryon said.