Primary Election 2003: Some familiar faces look to return to City Council

Tacoma City Council incumbents Bill Evans and Doug Miller are leading their races for spots in the general election, in what could turn out to be Washington state’s last blanket primary election.

Meanwhile, former City Councilmember Tom Stenger and Tacoma School Board member Angela Strege were leading their races in the other two City Council primary contests.

The top two vote-getters will meet in the upcoming general election.
Unofficial election results from the Pierce County Auditor’s Office show the races shaping up like this:

Tacoma City Council
– District 1: Incumbent Doug Miller 2,156 votes (38.54 percent); Spiro Manthou, 1,811 votes (32.37 percent); Jerry Thorpe, 1,117 votes (21.04 percent); Steve Muller, 417 votes (7.45 percent); and 33 write-in votes (.59 percent).

– District 3: Tom Stenger, 914 votes (33.55 percent); Amy Heller, 710 votes (26.06 percent); Janis Martin, 433 votes (15.90 percent); Phyllis Barrett, 349 votes (12.81 percent); Ron Driscoll, 304 votes (11.16 percent); and 14 write-in votes (.14 percent).

Current District 3 Councilwoman Bil Moss is not running for re-election. Her term ends Dec. 31.

– At large Position No. 7: Angela Strege, 5,561 votes (30.38 percent); Julie Anderson, 5,456 votes (29.80 percent); Ken Miller, 5,328 votes (29.10 percent); Robin McCoy, 1,257 votes (6.87 percent); Edryce Reynolds, 622 votes (3.40 percent); and 83 write-in votes (0.45 percent).

Sharon McGavick, who currently holds the at large Position No. 7 seat on the City Council, is prevented from running again by term limits.

– At large Position No. 8: Incumbent Bill Evans, 10, 645 votes (59.03 percent); Michele Reich, 5,104 votes (28.30 percent); Will Baker, 2,191 votes (12.15 percent); and 93 write-in votes (0.52 percent).

Port of Tacoma Commissioner
– Position No. 3: Incumbent Jack Fabulich, 41,602 votes (59.38 percent); Paul Cyr, 16,886 votes (24.10 percent); Bernardo Tuma, 10,834 votes (15.46 percent); and 738 write-in votes (1.05 percent).

Pierce County Council
– District No. 6: Richard “Dick” Muri, 6,097 votes (57.64 percent); incumbent Paul Bocchi, 4,374 votes (41.35 percent); and 107 write-in votes (1.01 percent).

Tuesday’s race was a winner-take-all affair, since both men are Republicans. Bocchi was appointed to the position in January after Republican Councilman Pat O’Malley stepped down to become a judge. Assuming Muri’s lead holds, he will serve out the remainder of O’Malley’s four-year term through the end of 2004.

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office was set to provide the next update of unofficial election results today at 4 p.m. The general election is set for Nov. 4.

Though it didn’t affect Tuesday’s primary election, a recent court decision could bring an end to Washington state’s long-time blanket primary rule.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the state’s blanket primary voting system – in use since 1936 – was unconstitutional because in interfered with the political parties’ First Amendment right of association.

The unanimous decision, by a three-judge panel, overturned a Tacoma U.S. District Court judge’s ruling from last year.

Attorney General Christine Gregoire said her office will discuss with the state elections office whether to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

“We want to be sure that all the state’s arguments in favor of the blanket primary have been thoroughly reviewed before the state is required to modify an election system that has worked well for voters for the past 67 years,” Gregoire said.

The challenge was filed in 2000 by state political parties, saying they have the constitutional right to choose their own party candidates for office.

The blanket primary allows voters to select candidates from any party regardless of their own affiliation.