An insurance agent looks as if he will face off against the chairman of the Tacoma planning commission for a seat representing South Tacoma on the City Council this November.
Chris Beale, the planning commission chairman, was leading the pack for the District 5 seat in early returns from Tuesday’s primary election.
“I feel great about the results,” Beale said Tuesday night.
“I think I’ve built a lot of relationships with the people in the district, and I think the intial vote count reflects that.”
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Not far behind was Brian Arnold, a 45-year-old Farmers insurance agent. From a field of five candidates, Beale and Arnold looked as if they would be the ones to move on to the November general election.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Arnold said Tuesday night.
“I think it’s definitely time for a change on the City Council, and I think I’m the guy who can bring it.”
The District 5 seat is now occupied by Councilman Joe Lonergan, who can’t run again due to term limits.
Tuesday’s primary appeared to have ended the hopes of three other candidates for Lonergan’s seat: Joanne Babic, a 60-year-old caregiver; Justin Van Dyk, 29, a former member of the Tacoma Charter Review Committee; and Janis Clark, a 60-year-old former Army officer who was dismissed from the service after being convicted by a military court-martial of cocaine use.
Those three candidates didn’t look as if they would go on to the general election. Under the state’s top-two primary system, only the top two vote-getters advance to the November ballot.
In the three-way race for the council’s District 4 seat, Catherine Ushka and Kevin Grossman were in the lead Tuesday night. The incumbent, Councilman Marty Campbell, also can’t seek re-election due to term limits.
Ushka and Grossman appeared to have defeated Shalisa Hayes, an insurance professional who has been a driving force behind the planned Eastside Community Center.
Ushka, the elected board president for Tacoma Public Schools, was furthest ahead. She said she thinks she has a strong chance to win in November due to her years of work to improve the district that includes Tacoma’s Eastside.
“I have deep relationships and a strong history of hard work in the Fourth District, and I think that shows,” said Ushka, who is 49.
Grossman, 56, is a commercial real estate broker and developer. He previously served on the Shoreline City Council. He has lived in Tacoma for more than 3 years and owned property here for more than a decade, he said.
He said he thinks his background of working on economic development issues and putting together business deals would be an asset on the council.
“I think what people care about are people who can actually get stuff done, and I’ve got a track record in that regard,” Grossman said Tuesday.
All of the races for the Tacoma City Council are nonpartisan.