Published November 06, 2012
Oosterman cruises to victory in PUD Dist. 1ROLF BOONE; Staff writer
Thurston Public Utility District District No. 1 candidate Linda Oosterman cruised to victory Tuesday night over opponent Steve Fossum, winning 63 percent of the vote. Oosterman thanked her supporters Tuesday night, saying she would represent, listen and be respectful of their needs. She also congratulated Fossum, describing him as a polite and respectful opponent. Oosterman, 69, thinks, in the end, it was her willingness to take a careful look at the issue of public power in Thurston County that tipped the race in her favor. “I think people wanted someone who would carefully look at all the information before making a decision,” she said. Oosterman did take her time, but because she never got some answers to her public-power concerns, she finally took a stand against the initiative. Fossum, 48, thanked his supporters and congratulated Oosterman on her win as well, but said he was proud of his message. Fossum, from the beginning, supported the public power initiative. He said his efforts planted some new ideas and that the conversation is just beginning about public power in Thurston County. “I knew it would be an uphill battle,” Fossum said, “but I always prefer to lose supporting the right thing.” He added: “I’m pretty proud of what we did here.” Fossum has worked at the state Department of Social and Health Services for more than 20 years, while Oosterman spent 20 years in management. She currently serves on the Thurston County Drug Court Foundation board and is an active Olympia Kiwanis member. Oosterman raised about $11,000 for her race, receiving support from locally elected officials and finally Puget Sound Energy officials, such as PSE spokesman Andy Wappler, according to updated state Public Disclosure Commission data. Fossum raised about $10,500, mostly from labor groups.