Our endorsements in the Nov. 3 general election

Voters can save postage by dropping off their ballots in one of several boxes throughout Pierce County.
Voters can save postage by dropping off their ballots in one of several boxes throughout Pierce County. Staff file, 2014

Ballots are due Tuesday for this year’s general election. This is an “off-year” election, so voters mainly are deciding city council and school board races. Pierce County voters also will be selecting members of the charter review commission.

Several local governments are running important ballot measures, and voters statewide will decide on two initiatives.

Please take the time to vote and return your mail ballot postmarked no later than Tuesday. Or deposit it in a no-postage-needed drop box, available at 34 locations throughout Pierce County, by 8 p.m. that day. For a list of drop-box locations, go to tinyurl.com/nagrxys.

The News Tribune editorial board has spent the better part of the last four months interviewing candidates, researching their positions and talking to members of their communities. Below are our endorsements in contested races and recommendations on ballot measures. An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent; a double asterisk (**) denotes an incumbent by appointment.


▪ 30th District House Pos. 2: Teri Hickel (R)

Port of Tacoma

▪ Pos. 3: Don Johnson*

▪ Pos. 5: Clare Petrich*

Tacoma City Council

▪ At-large Pos. 7: Conor McCarthy

▪ Dist. 1: John Hines

▪ Dist. 3: Keith Blocker

Tacoma School Board

▪ Pos. 2: Catherine Ushka*

▪ Pos. 4: Andrea Cobb

Metro Parks Board

▪ Pos. 3: Larry Dahl*

Bonney Lake City Council

▪ Pos. 2: David Baus

Gig Harbor City Council

▪ Pos. 5: Ken Malich*

▪ Pos. 6: Michael Perrow*

Lakewood City Council

▪ Pos. 6: Marie Barth*

Puyallup City Council

▪ At-large: Dean Johnson

▪ Dist. 1, Pos. 1: Pat McGregor

▪ Dist. 2, Pos. 1: John Palmer*

▪ Dist. 3, Pos. 1: Tom Swanson*

Puyallup School Board

▪ Pos. 2: Dane Looker*

▪ Pos. 3: Michael Keaton

University Place City Council

▪ Pos. 6: Chris Nye*

University Place School Board

▪ Pos. 4: Mary Lu Dickinson*

▪ Pos. 5: Rick Maloney*

Franklin Pierce School District

▪ Dist. 1: Doug Carlson**

Peninsula School District

▪ Dist. 1: Marcia E. Harris

▪ Dist. 3: Rand Wilhelmsen*

▪ Dist. 4: Leslie Harbaugh


▪ Initiative 1366: Sales tax decrease or two-thirds vote for tax and fee increases – NO

▪ Initiative 1401: Trafficking of endangered animals – YES

▪ Pierce County Ref. 2015-1: Reverses County Council decision to build general services building – NO

▪ Fircrest Prop. 1: Permits on-site sale of liquor – YES

▪ Tacoma Citizens’ Initiative 1: $15 minimum wage – NO

▪ Tacoma Initiative 1B: Phases in $12 minimum wage – YES

▪ Tacoma Charter Amendment Initiative 2: Removes peoples’ initiative and referendum powers, changes form of government to strong-mayor – NO

▪ Tacoma Prop. 3: Tax levy and utilities earnings tax to pay for street repairs – YES

▪ Tacoma Prop. A: Sales and use tax to fund street improvements – YES

▪ Puyallup School District Prop. 1: Bond measure for school construction and improvements – YES