A Tacoma City Councilman hoping to keep his seat will face a high school teacher in this fall’s election.
Incumbent Anders Ibsen and John Hines received the most votes in Tuesday’s primary election for the District 1 seat, which represents Proctor, the West End and part of North Tacoma.
Meanwhile, District 3 candidate Tom McCarthy, also a teacher, will compete against either Justin Leighton or Keith Blocker for the open seat representing the Tacoma Mall area, Central Tacoma and the Hilltop. Term limits prevent current Councilwoman Lauren Walker from running for re-election.
In the race for the District 1 seat, Ibsen was the top vote-getter, with teacher and football coach Hines coming in a distant second.
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“We are thrilled,” Ibsen said of his first-place showing. “I’m grateful for the folks’ support, and I look forward to continuing to work hard for them.”
Businesswoman Tara Doyle-Enneking trailed in third place and won’t advance to the general election.
Hines, a political newcomer, initially filed to run in the open citywide Position 7 race, saying he did not want to challenge Ibsen. But Hines changed his mind at the last minute. His endorsements include every sitting City Council member except Ibsen and Ryan Mello.
“I feel really good,” said Hines of his second-place finish. He said the campaign accomplished its goals of placing second while keeping Ibsen below 50 percent. “We are really excited to get to the general election.”
Tuesday’s returns also favored Tom McCarthy and Justin Leighton in the seven-way scramble for the District 3 position. Leighton was leading Keith Blocker by 29 votes, leaving the race for the second spot on the general election ballot a toss-up.
Those who also ran include: restaurant owner Kris Blondin, State Farm employee Whitney Brady, perennial political candidate and felon Robert Hill, and Army veteran Valentine Smith.
McCarthy, a Pierce College teacher whose shamrock- bedecked signs are seen throughout the District 3, has been canvassing neighborhoods for months. He has lived for more than decade in Hilltop, where he is raising his young daughter.
“I’m humbled but not completely surprised,” at the results, he said. “I’ve been doorbelling since last August. I had a feeling we were really connecting with the voters out in the third district.”
Leighton, a spokesman for Pierce Transit, has raised the most money of the bunch, nearly $40,000 according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. He is also the chairman of the Tacoma Transportation Commission, a post to which the City Council reappointed him last month.
“I think with seven people in the race, it was always going to be close,” said Leighton of his narrowly held second place. “I am confident that we will actually grow our lead.”
Blocker, director of middle school programs for Peace Community Center and a Hilltop resident, earned the early support of nearly two dozen current and former elected officials and the Tacoma-Pierce County Business Alliance political action committee. He did not return messages seeking comment.
Two at-large positions on the council also are up for election this fall. Lawyer Conor McCarthy and nonprofit worker Suzanne Skaar are running for the seat now occupied by David Boe, who decided to not run again. Councilman Ryan Mello is running unopposed.