Incumbent Tumwater City Councilman Ed Hildreth looked to be on the way to an easy re-election over his opponent Priscilla Blais, according to early returns Tuesday night.
Hildreth had a commanding lead over Blais, who ran her first-ever campaign for elected office.
“I think that I’m going to win,” Hildreth said in a phone interview.
“I really appreciate the voters’ confidence in electing me to another term on the Tumwater City Council. I’ll continue to work hard to represent the city’s citizens and to really be a steward in their best interests.”
Hildreth, 67, said his priorities during his next term on the council include redeveloping the vacant brewery property and continuing the redesign of Capitol Boulevard.
“First of all, the brewery property is really high on everybody’s radar,” Hildreth said.
“We really need to make that commercially viable and sustainable for businesses.”
Hildreth is completing his first four-year term on the Tumwater council. He serves as vice-chairman of Intercity Transit’s board and the Thurston County Transportation Policy Board. He also is chairman of Thurston 911 Communications.
Blais, 57, who works as a caregiver for intellectually disabled adults at Placeone Inc. in Lacey, has said she was motivated to run by her desire to help others. Blais handed the phone to her husband when she was called Tuesday night.
When informed of the election results, David Blais responded, “That’s not good for her, that’s not good for the people.”
Hildreth has prior experience as an employee of the state Department of Licensing, where he helped manage budgets for the Motor Vehicle Division, and with the state Department of Transportation, where he worked as a photographer.
Hildreth ran as an independent, with endorsements from both Democrats, including state Rep. Chris Reykdal, and Republicans, including Secretary of State Kim Wyman.