Incumbents advance in two Tacoma races


The two incumbents in Tacoma on the ballot for the primary election fared very well, with each coasting to a wide margin of victory in a field of three candidates. Meanwhile, six individuals faced off for two open seats on Port of Tacoma Commission.

There are a total of 517,727 voters around Pierce County eligible to vote for Port of Tacoma Commission. There were 104,603 ballots returned, for a rate of 20.20 percent. For Port Commissioner position 3, first place goes to Deanna Keller. She received 40,095 votes, or 48.5 percent. Keller has served as president of KelTech Plastics since 2008. Prior to that, she worked as an educator in the Puyallup and Clover Park School Districts. She was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1983-88. In the general election, she will face Frank Boykin, who came in second place with 23,363 votes, or 28.26 percent. Justin Camarata finished in third place with 18,775 votes, or 22.71 percent. He briefly served on Tacoma City Council on an interim basis when Robert Thoms was deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy Reserve.

For Port Commissioner position 5, the two candidates who will advance to the general election finished very close to each other. After trailing slightly after the first count of ballots, Kristin Ang had a slight lead after the second day with 33,157 votes, or 33.94 percent. Dave Bryant is right behind her with 32,447 votes, or 39.09 percent. Bryant served in the U.S. Navy from 1974 to 2001. Since retiring from the service, he has worked in engineering and business development at Boeing in Kent. Ang, a business attorney, is the current president of the board of City Club of Tacoma. Shelley Schlumpf finished in third place. The former president and CEO of the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce received 17,052 votes, or 20.54 percent of the total cast.

In the race for Tacoma City Council position 7, an at-large seat, incumbent Conor McCarthy had a comfortable lead with 10,603 votes, or 53.41 percent. An attorney with a downtown law firm, McCarthy has prior experience working at city hall in the city attorney’s office. Brett Johnson was in second place with 4,695 votes, or 23.65 percent. A small business owner, Johnson has experience as an air traffic controller in the U.S. Air Force. Courtney Love was close behind with 4,477 votes, or 22.55 percent. There were 420 blank votes in this race.

McCarthy attributed his track record at city hall for his strong showing, noting his efforts to improve public safety and create more affordable housing. “Hopefully that resonated well with voters,” he remarked. McCarthy said he has been knocking on doors for the past several months. The top concerns he has heard regard development, road conditions, taxes and public safety. He noted that the campaign is not over, with another 90 days to go until the general election.

There are 131,040 registered voters in Tacoma School District, with all of them eligible to vote for candidates for all five seats. One seat was on the ballot for the primary election, that of School Board position 2. The incumbent is Enrique Leon, who was appointed in 2018 to replace former member Catherine Ushka upon her taking office on Tacoma City Council. He has 14,009 votes, or 64.17 percent. He will square off in the general election with Kristopher Kerns, who had 5,713 votes, or 26.17 percent. John Marsden finished in third place with 1,982 votes, or 9.08 percent.

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