Bill Baarsma set to be Tacoma's next mayor

University of Puget Sound professor and former city council member Bill Baarsma looks to be the next mayor of Tacoma.
According to unofficial election results this morning from the Pierce County Auditor’s Office, Baarsma had 15,814 votes (56.68 percent) to Harold Moss’ 11,974 votes (42.92 percent).
Moss is a member of the Pierce County Council and former mayor of Tacoma.
Both Baarsma, 59, and Moss, 72, ran as non-partisan candidates for the position currently held by Mayor Mike Crowley.
Along with a new mayor, the nine-member Tacoma City Council will take on a new look.
The closest race is the battle for the District No. 5 seat, where Connie Ladenburg (NP) had 2,473 votes (51.86 percent) to John McGinnis’ 2,277 votes (47.75 percent).
Earlier in the race, McGinnis was ahead of Ladenburg in a contest that is still too close to call.
Ladenburg is the wife of Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg.
Other results regarding the Tacoma City Council are as follows:
District No. 2: Kevin Phelps (NP), 4,206 votes (64.23 percent); Bernardo Tuma (NP), 2,319 votes (25.42 percent).
District No. 4: Rick Talbert (NP), 2,381 votes (61.16 percent); Beckie Summers (NP), 1,504 votes (38.63 percent).
At large, Position No. 6: Mike Lonergan (NP), 17,622 votes (66.31 percent); Alisa Regala O’Hanlon (NP), 8,869 votes (33.37 percent).
In Port of Tacoma races, incumbent commissioners Connie Bacon and Ted Bottiger were both leading.
Port of Tacoma Commissioner, Position No. 1: Connie Bacon (NP), 50,573 votes (55.62 percent); Richard Phillips (NP), 40, 009 (44 percent).
Port of Tacoma Commissioner, Position No. 2 has Dick Marzano (NP) running unopposed. Thus far, Marzano has 77,604 votes (98.75 percent).
Port of Tacoma Commissioner, Position No. 4: R. Ted Bottiger (NP) 48,307 votes (53.84 percent); Jeff Hubbell, 40, 893 votes (45.58 percent).
Gerald Horne (D), who is running unopposed for a one-year unexpired term as the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney garnered 80,641 votes (97.77 percent).
In the contest for Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Department No. 21, Frank Cuthbertson (NP) was leading, with 54,369 votes (56.73 percent), compared to Rudy Tollefson’s 41,055 votes (42.84 percent).
Meanwhile, all three statewide initiatives appeared well on their way to passing.
Tim Eyman’s Initiative 747, which will let state and local taxing districts increase regular property taxes by no more than one percent a year unless voters approve higher increases, received 68,295 yes votes (62.76 percent), with 40,528 (37.24 percent) no votes.
Initiative 733, which would raise tobacco taxes to the highest level in the nation, got 70,715 yes votes (65.08 percent), with 37,940 (34.92 percent) no votes.
Initiative 775, which would establish care standards for in-home service providerd, had 73,008 (68.34 percent) yes votes, and 33,823 (31.66 percent) no votes.
There are 351,206 registered voters in Pierce County, with 110,554 ballots counted thus far, according to the Pierce County Auditor’s Office.
Of those ballots, 26,767 were were poll, and 83,787 were absentee.
The next update on unofficial election results from the Pierce County Auditor’s Office is set for tomorrow at 4 p.m.
In other Washington voting news, King County Council member Greg Nickels was leading in the race for Seattle mayor against City Attorney Mark Sidran, 54 percent to 46 percent.
There may not be a clear winner in the race for days, as approximately 80 percent of the votes in this election were cast as absentee ballots.
In New York City, Republican Michael Bloomberg edged Democrat Mark Green in the race for mayor of New York City.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, whose stock rose dramatically following his handling of events after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the city, endorsed Bloomberg.