Politics & Government

Flock of folks seek Tacoma Council seat

Fifteen people have applied to fill the yearlong council vacancy of Councilman Anders Ibsen.

Ibsen is taking a leave of absence to train as an officer in the Marines Corps reserves. His last council meeting is Tuesday, when the council will choose his stand-in. He will return to his council post in about a year. The deadline to apply was Thursday afternoon.

State law allows elected leaders to take a leave of absence to serve in the military. The last time a Tacoma elected official took a military leave was in 1944 when Tacoma Mayor Harry P. Cain served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

The applicants are:

 • Joseph Atkinson, a legislative aide in the state House who ran against Ibsen in the 2011 primary election for the District 1 seat.

 • Denis Duggan Sr., a retired Boeing engineer .

 • Foster Gibble, a former vice president and general manager of a multi-state manufacturing company and a board member at REACH Ministries.

 • Chris Green, the vice president of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.

 • Sergio Hernandez, an instructor at Tacoma Community College.

 • Nathe Lawver, a labor liaison who was chairman of Pierce County Democrats for four years.

 • Joseph Lopez, an attorney in Seattle who served on the city’s Board of Ethics.

 • Spiro Manthou, who was twice elected councilman of District 1 and is now a manager at Pierce Transit.

 • Philip Miller, owner of a business that assists mortgage companies and banks.

 • Marion “Morf” Morford, an instructor at Bates and Clover Park technical colleges and a News Tribune guest columnist

 • Harold Moss, a former Tacoma mayor and Pierce County councilman.

 • Kurt Olson, a terminal operator at U.S. Oil & Refining and former volunteer for Safe Streets.

 • Jordan Rash, vice chairman of the North End Neighborhood Council and conservation director of Forterra. Rash is Ibsen’s preferred candidate.

 • Karen Smitherman, a longtime teacher and administrator who Ibsen defeated in the 2011 general election for the District 1 council seat.

 • Joseph Zawacki, owner of a lamp business and member of the Foss Waterway Development Authority board.

Ibsen told the council about his decision to join the Marines last month. Mayor Marilyn Strickland set up a fast-track process to select his interim replacement.

Applicant interviews will be held at noon Tuesday in the City Council chambers. The new member will be confirmed during the 5 p.m. meeting and could be sworn in after the new year.