Bryant, Keller ahead in Tacoma Port Commission races

Tacoma’s Port Commission will add two new commissioners to its ranks after Tuesday’s election, replacing two longtime figures who are stepping down at the end of the year.

One race showed a more definitive winning trend as of Tuesday night, while the other is much tighter.

Deanna Keller was ahead of Frank Boykin 58 percent to 41 percent in the race to replace Commission Vice President Don Johnson for Position 3.

In a much tighter race, Dave Bryant was ahead of Kristin Ang, 50 percent to 49 percent for Position 5, which is currently held by Commission President Clare Petrich.

Both Johnson and Petrich’s terms end in December.

According to a Tuesday afternoon check of the state’s Public Disclosure Commission website, which tracks campaign finances, Ang had raised more than $66,000 to Bryant’s more-than $19,000, while Keller had raised close to $66,000 compared with Boykin’s more-than $32,000.

It is the most expensive port commission race in the past decade, with the four candidates seeking the two positions having raised more than $180,000 collectively as of Election Day. That compares with the $160,000 raised by six candidates competing for 3 positions in 2017.

Much of that fight has been fueled by current and future development, notably Puget Sound Energy’s liquefied natural gas facility on the Tideflats, awaiting its final permit from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Also, outreach, property management and improving transparency were topics the campaigns addressed.

Overall, much was made of making the port work better with Tacoma’s residents, a theme that Boykin promoted early on. “I think beyond what is really clear about using additional communication, social channels, to spread the message, I think the most impactful thing is really changing how the leadership actually engages community,” he told The News Tribune in July.

Bryant, in a Facebook post Nov. 1, said he would work to “focus on making the port eco-friendly, culturally diverse, financially sustainable, and empowering businesses at the port to create great paying jobs.”

Ang, interviewed Tuesday night, told The News Tribune: “I continually advocate for the port, for the environment for our community. That doesn’t change anything.”

“I’m optimistic the results will go my way.”

Keller emphasized building coalitions and a spirit of bipartisanship as part of her campaign. “If we can focus collectively on solving issues and working together, we can get things done and speak with one voice,” she wrote Oct. 26 on her Facebook page. In a separate post, she added: “I am hoping and will be striving for a unified voice for our economy and for our environment. I am not your usual candidate, I am a leader and not a politician.”

Brennan LaBrie contributed to this report.

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