Early results in the Tuesday primary election showed that two men with years of history at the Port of Tacoma have the votes to advance to the November general election for a seat on the port commission.
Former port security director Eric Holdeman and former Pierce County Superior Court Judge John McCarthy, who previously served on the port commission, were the top two vote-getters in early returns for Position 1, which has been held by commissioner Connie Bacon for 20 years. Results showed McCarthy with a strong lead over Holdeman as of Tuesday night.
Jim Jensen, the controversial Republican candidate who first drew attention by self-funding his run to the tune of $115,000 and later ended his campaign after racist and misogynistic tweets he wrote came to light, did not appear to have the votes to advance to the general election.
Jensen announced he would be ending his campaign in early June after screenshots of the offensive tweets surfaced, but he missed the May 22 deadline to have his name removed from the ballot.
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Getting his name removed from the primary ballot after that deadline would have required a court order, according to the Pierce County auditor’s office.
“It’s nice to have the Jim Jensen thing settled that he’s out of it, and it shows that a lot of people aren’t necessarily informed for him to get 20 percent or more of the thing,” Holdeman said. “But I feel confident I’m going to be able to run a very competent and competitive race.”
McCarthy said he was appreciative of those who voted in the low-turnout primary.
“I’m really happy. Our theme has been to maintain the port, to continue growing good family wage jobs, maintaining clean air and water and safety for people that work there and live nearby,” McCarthy said. “There are still more ballots to count but we certainly like the early numbers, we’re excited by that.”