Monday, December 7, 2009

General Election Results

This campaign season saw the usual unopposed incumbents, a number of surprise victories against incumbents, and quite a few open seats up for grabs. The result of the 2009 elections will be a greater mix of newer elected officials with incumbents. But before we review those results, let's review the state and local initiatives on the November ballot.

Initiative 1033, which was introduced by Tim Eyman, went down to defeat, while Referendum 71 passed by a narrow margin. Referendum 71 grants state registered domestic partners in Washington state with all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples as passed by the state legislature.

At the county level, both Propositions 1 and 2 were rejected, while Proposition 3 was approved. The Chamber had recommended to its members the exact result of the election i.e. reject Props 1 and 2 and pass Prop 3.

At the Port, Connie Bacon and Dick Marzano easily won re-election, while Foss Waterway and Chamber member Don Meyer won his race for the open seat on the commission.

In the Tacoma elections, Tacoma City Council Member Marilyn Strickland will be the next mayor. In the race to replace Mike Lonergan, Victoria Woodards from the Metro Parks Board won against Keven Rojecki. In the race to replace Connie Ladenburg, who represents the south end of Tacoma, Joe Lonergan went on to defeat Beckie Summers-Kirby.

In Fircrest, we see the first of a trend in our area. Many incumbents lost in their bids for re-election. Half of the Fircrest council was unopposed, so Mayor McVay and Chris Gruver will return. In the contested races, incumbent Matt Jolibois was re-elected while incumbent Hans Hechtman was not. Denny Waltier will be sworn-in and will begin serving in January.

The trend against incumbents continued in University Place. In position 1, one of the founding members for cityhood – Linda Bird – lost in her re-election bid to Javier Figueroa. The same event happened to incumbent Lorna Smith who lost to Eric Choiniere. However, Ken Grassi did not suffer the same fate. He remains on the council after obtaining 72% of the vote in his race for Position 4. However, Ken Grassi did not suffer the same fate. He remains on the council after obtaining 72% of the vote in his race for Position 4. University Place did have an open seat for Position 5, which was won by Denise McCluskey against her opponent Rose Ehart.

In the Lakewood elections, the trend changes since the majority seats available were open with no incumbent running for re-election.

Mary Moss was elected to the open seat on the Lakewood city council as well as Jason Whalen (67%) and Mike Brandstetter (58%). The only incumbent, Doug Richardson, running for re-election for the Lakewood council, easily won with no opposition.

Special note: Mary Moss works at Harborstone Credit Union and has been an active Chamber member for years.

A very special note: Ray Tennison was re-elected to the University Place School Board. Ray is the immediate past Chair of the Chamber and been extremely active in the Chamber for nearly two decades.

As a business organization the Chamber celebrates these recent victories and its involvement in the process. This year the Chamber enhanced its education program for its members and the business community at large. The Chamber held two debates and provided numerous updates to its members throughout the campaign season. In addition, many Chamber's members were involved in local races this year. In some cases, Chamber members ran for office (Moss, Campbell, Tennison, etc.)

In 2010, the Chamber will maintain strong working relationships with public officials and establish good relationships with newly elected officials. The Chamber's members should know that the Chamber will continue to be active in the legislative arena.

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