Early results show Woodards poised to be Tacoma’s next mayor

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As the Tacoma Weekly went to press on Wednesday, Nov. 8 results from the 2017 general election were still being tabulated. Election results are certified by each county on Nov. 28, with the secretary of state certifying final results on Dec. 1.

In the meantime, the race for Tacoma mayor shows Victoria Woodards with 52 percent of the vote compared to Jim Merritt’s 48 percent. A celebratory crowd packed Woodard’s election night party, and she addressed the crowd with excitement clearly in her voice. “Tonight, Tacoma chose hope over hatred,” she said. “Tonight, Tacoma chose opportunity over oppression. Tonight, Tacoma chose faith over fear.”

When asked how she was doing the next day after such a heady, and late, election night, Woodards replied with a beaming, “I am awesome. I’m tired as heck, but I am awesome.”

She said she couldn’t have come this far without the people behind her working on her behalf. “It was the people who helped me talk to the voters. It was the fact that we – by phone, by doorbelling and all the work we did – touched more than 40,000 voters.” She said that in doorbelling alone she and her campaign supporters reached upward of 20,000 voters over the course of the campaign. On any Saturday, they would knock on up to 2,500 doors.

“I had so many people who believe in me and this campaign and that’s what I believe made the difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am humbled and honored and I hope that as we get new results that it will continue to trend in this way.”

For Tacoma City Council, the District 2 seat stands at 54 percent for Robert Thoms and 46 percent for Philip Cowan; District 4 shows Catherine Ushka with a healthy lead over Kevin Grossman, her 59 percent to his 41 percent; and District 5 remains a close race with Chris Beale at 52 percent and Brian Arnold at 48 percent. For Tacoma City Council at Large Pos. 6, Lillian Hunter at 60 percent of the vote is clearly outpacing challenger Meredith Neal’s 40 percent.

As the sole candidate for the City of Tacoma’s Pos. 1 Civil Service Board, Eric Hansen takes the seat along with Dan Sexton for Pos. 2, also the sole candidate.

In the races for Port of Tacoma, three seats are up. In Pos. 1, John McCarthy at 55 percent leads Eric Holdeman’s 45 percent; Pos. 2 shows Dick Marzano at 59 percent to Noah Davis’ 41 percent; and in Pos. 4, Don Meyer stands at 53 percent over Kristin Ang’s at 47 percent.

Finally, two countywide ballot measures were before voters. Proposed Charter Amendment No. 46 (filling vacancies in elected office) is in the lead to pass with 57 percent voting “yes” and 43 percent voting “no.” If approved, this amendment will require the County Council to fill vacancies in partisan elective offices by appointment from a list of three people submitted by the county central committee of the party represented by the official in office immediately prior to the declaration of vacancy. It will also require the council to fill vacancies in nonpartisan elective offices by appointment from applicants responding to a public request for applications for the vacant nonpartisan office. Proposed Charter Amendment No. 47 (limitation on terms of office) appears to be failing with 64 percent voting “no” and 36 percent voting “yes.” The aim of this amendment was to lengthen the number of years that county councilmembers could serve in office, from two consecutive four-year terms to three consecutive four-year terms.

For the latest information on voting results, visit www.results.vote.wa.gov.

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