Politics & Government

Offensive tweets sank his campaign. Now port commission candidate has formally withdrawn.

Jim Jensen this week formally withdrew his candidacy for Port of Tacoma commissioner, the state Public Disclosure Commission reported.
Jim Jensen this week formally withdrew his candidacy for Port of Tacoma commissioner, the state Public Disclosure Commission reported. phaley@thenewstribune.com

The Port of Tacoma commission candidate whose offensive tweets caused an uproar has officially withdrawn his campaign, the state Public Disclosure Commission reported this week.

Jim Jensen’s campaign notified the disclosure commission Monday that Jensen is formally dropping out of the race for Position 1. He could later change his mind, according to the PDC.

But for now, Jensen no longer can collect contributions, although he still can pay campaign expenses, the disclosure commission reported.

According to the latest records, Jensen had raised $147,935 ($115,000 of which was self-funded) and spent $71,459.34.

Jensen, a Republican from Fox Island, first raised eyebrows for plowing so much of his own money into his campaign. It was a huge sum for any Pierce County race. To date, he has the seventh-highest fund-raising amount for a local campaign in the state, trailing only high-profile King County races. He can’t get his $115,000 back, the PDC said.

The 37-year-old commercial real estate broker later created a stir when he told The News Tribune in an interview that he was against the now-withdrawn plans for a methanol plant that had been proposed for Tacoma’s Tideflats. But in a April campaign speech, a video of which surfaced later, Jensen expressed disappointment that the project had been canceled, calling it a missed opportunity for Pierce County’s economy.

Then, screenshots of offensive tweets from Jensen’s deleted Twitter account began making their way around the internet, posted by environmental activists and those active in Tacoma’s political scene. Jensen initially said his Twitter account might have been hacked, but after prodding from The News Tribune, he apologized for the tweets and announced in a statement that he would withdraw from the race.

He also resigned his position as a broker for Berkadia, the company confirmed.

Even though he’s suspended his campaign, Jensen’s name still will appear on the primary ballot in August because he missed the deadline to have his name removed. If he earns enough votes to advance to November’s general election, he still technically could win.

Candice Ruud: 253-597-8441, @candiceruud

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