Joe Lopez announced his candidacy for the Tacoma City Council Thursday, a day after Councilman David Boe said he would not run for re-election.
Lopez is a former city councilman, but this is his first campaign for elected office. He is running for Boe’s at-large seat.
In late 2013, Lopez was appointed to another council position to temporarily replace Anders Ibsen while Ibsen was pursuing military training with the U.S. Marine Corps. Lopez’s brief term was made even shorter when Ibsen returned home after just three weeks of training, saying military medical staff determined he was not physically qualified to continue.
At the time, Lopez was commuting from his West End home to a Seattle law firm. The council cited his understanding of issues facing Tacoma commuters when it selected him from a pool of 15 applicants.
Since then, Lopez has quit his Seattle job and opened a law office on Tacoma’s Hilltop with his wife, Evelyn, who is also a lawyer.
Lopez served three years on the city’s Board of Ethics, which hears resident complaints against various high-level city employees and elected officials. He is a member of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s board of directors.
In a press release, Lopez said he wants to see the city focus on basic municipal services such as streets and public safety.
“Our first priority needs to be livability,” Lopez said. “We need to avoid unnecessary new programs and expenditures that drive up the city budget and divert resources from core city functions like roads and transportation.
“In every neighborhood I visit, I hear that the city needs to do more to address quality-of-life concerns like crime. Through careful budgeting and strategic cost control, our fire and police departments have done a great job of protecting the city. But we can’t fall behind.”