Friday, November 8, 2013

Newcomers Win Port Commission Seats in Washington State

An incumbent port commissioner was reelected in Pasco on Election Day, but new commissioners were elected in Port Angeles and in Woodland, where 30-year incumbent Jerry Peterson lost his race for another stint on the Port of Woodland commission.

J.J. Burke, a former Woodland City Councilman and current executive director of the Woodland Chamber of Commerce, defeated Peterson by capturing almost 52 percent of the vote. He campaigned on the platform of bringing in new industries to further develop the port and improving the traffic flow in the area around the port.

In Port Angeles, port commission candidate Colleen McAleer was victorious over fellow candidate Del DelaBarre in a race to fill the seat currently held by Paul McHugh. McHugh was appointed to the position in late 2011 to fill the unexpired term of Jim McEntire, who had won election to the county board of commissioners. McHugh ran for election, but lost in the August primaries.

McAleer, who won with better than 64 percent of the more than 13,300 votes cast, already works for the Port of Port Angeles as its director of business development, but says she plans to resign from the position when she takes her seat on the board.

In July, she identified herself as the whistleblower who filed the complaint that launched an investigation into the resignation of then-Executive Director Jeff Robb, and subsequent rehiring for a lesser position, albeit with the same annual pay.

Port of Pasco Commission President Jean Ryckman won reelection Nov. 5 with about 67 percent of the vote, easily defeating challenger Herb Brayton.

Ryckman, a retired Franklin PUD manager, is the first woman to serve on the three-member port commission.