Several former Tacoma City Council members fared very well in the primary election of Aug. 7.
In a race that generated much interest, Pierce County Assessor/Treasurer Dale Washam will be leaving office after one tumultuous term. He is fourth out of five candidates, with 7,655 votes, or 10 percent. Leading the pack is former Councilmember Mike Lonergan with 40 percent. In second place is Billie O’Brien, an employee in the Assessor/Treasurer's office, with 24 percent. Current Pierce County Councilmember Tim Farrell has 19 percent. In last place is Spiro Manthou, another former Tacoma City Councilmember, with 5 percent.
Lonergan said his goal was to get 30 percent of the votes, which he felt would have been a good showing in a five-person race. He is quite pleased with 40 percent.
“This does not mean I can coast to victory, but if we keep working hard we can win,” he remarked.
Lonergan feels the ongoing controversies that have surrounded Washam had an impact on voters. “I really do believe, because of the problems we have had in this office, people wanted someone they can trust. I am really honored that people feel I am someone they can trust.”
This is his second run for a countywide office. In 2008 he lost a bid for county executive. “It is a big county. You really learn that when you run countywide.”
He felt his eight years on Tacoma City Council, his former job running Tacoma Rescue Mission and two years hosting a talk radio show were factors in his strong showing. “That name recognition helps.”
Connie Ladenburg, who also served eight years on the council, has a commanding lead in the race for the District 4 seat on Pierce County Council. She has 40 percent. Sharon Benson is in second place with 23.6 percent, with Ken Grassi close behind at 21.2 percent. Chris Nye has 15 percent.
Ladenburg, who is stepping away from the Legislature after two years, seeks to fill the seat Farrell is leaving due to term limits.
The other county council position that affects Tacoma is District 2. Incumbent Joyce McDonald took 67 percent. Edgewood Mayor Jeff Hogan, who took 22 percent, will meet her in the general election. J.R. Wikane was third with 9 percent. This district includes Northeast Tacoma and suburban areas to the east.
Three people ran for the state House of Representatives seat Ladenburg is vacating in the 29th District. Democrat David Sawyer is in first with 41 percent, followed by Republican Terry Harder with 34 percent. If early results hold up, Democrat Ben Lawver will not advance. He had 24 percent of the vote.
Some races with only two candidates were on the primary ballot, but the contests will be determined in November. Two Democrats are battling for the Washington State Senate seat in the 27th District. State Representative Jeannie Darneille has 58 percent, with attorney Jack Connelly trailing with 40 percent.
Democrat Laurie Jinkins is running for re-election for position 1 in the State House of Representatives in this district. She has 74 percent of the vote and Republican challenger Steven Cook has 25 percent.
With Darneille running for senate, her position 2 seat is up for grabs. Two members of Tacoma City Council are competing for this office. Jake Fey has 50.7 percent and Lauren Walker has 47.7. The two Democrats will decide the race in November.
Fey gathered with supporters at his campaign office on Aug. 7 for the first election results. He said the primary election will allow him and his campaign staff to determine where they did well in the district and where they can do better in the general election. They will compare the votes by precinct with the areas where he knocked on doorbells.
“I am happy to be ahead,” Fey said. “It gives us a positive outlook, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”
In the 6th Congressional District, Democratic State Senator Derek Kilmer has nearly 60 percent of the vote in Pierce County. In distant second place is Republican Bill Driscoll at 18 percent. The top two finishers will face off in November to determine who will replace longtime Congressman Norm Dicks.
In the other race involving Tacoma, incumbent Adam Smith has 56 percent of the vote in the county for the 9th Congressional District. In November the Tacoma Democrat will face Republican challenger Jim Postma, who had 31 percent of the county vote.