12 votes separate Tacoma council candidates

Justin Leighton
Justin Leighton Courtesy

Two Tacoma City Council candidates vying for a final spot on the November ballot remain in a dead heat as ballots continue to be counted.

Keith Blocker, director of middle school programs for Peace Community Center and a Hilltop resident, has overtaken Pierce Transit spokesman Justin Leighton, who held a 29-vote lead on election night. In the latest returns released Wednesday, Blocker had the advantage by just 12 votes.

Whoever comes out ahead will face Pierce College teacher Tom McCarthy, who maintained his healthy lead in the District 3 race.

The three were among seven who hoped to secure one of two spots on the November ballot to run for the open seat representing the Tacoma Mall area, Central Tacoma and the Hilltop. Term limits prevent current Councilwoman Lauren Walker from seeking a third term.

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office expects to release another ballot tally Thursday.