Veteran Port of Tacoma Commissioner Connie Bacon was winning her bid to retain her seat in early election returns Tuesday night.
Pierce County voters gave the 16-year incumbent a strong lead against challenger Eric Holdeman, the port’s former security director.
Re-election would extend Bacon’s tenure on the port commission by four years to a total of two decades.
Bacon is a former aide to the late Gov. Booth Gardner, a small-business owner and the former director of the World Trade Center Tacoma. She campaigned without yard signs but spent generously on advertising.
The incumbent cited her knowledge and experience in matters maritime as reason for voters to re-elect her.
Holdeman called for closer cooperation with the Port of Seattle, for more careful spending of the Port of Tacoma’s funds and more innovation in the port’s planning.
Holdeman, a nationally known expert on emergency management, was the port’s security director for four years before he lost that post in a reorganization last year.
During the campaign, he talked about the port’s $600 million debt, its failed Maytown project, its deferred maintenance, its lack of investment in new technology and its failure to close on a
$150-million crude oil terminal deal.
Bacon highlighted the port’s 15 percent container traffic gain, its 100 percent breakbulk cargo increase, its business diversification and its careful use of taxpayer dollars.
In two other port commission races, the incumbents — Tacoma longshoreman Dick Marzano and Don Meyer, a former port deputy director and the retired director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority — faced no opposition.
Bacon and Holdeman had emerged from a primary election field that included two other candidates.
One was Gig Harbor engineer Dave Dormier and the other was one of the state’s most notorious convicted sex offenders, Andre “Doctor Dre” Young.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663