Bill Fishburn, a former longtime Intel employee in DuPont, has decided to challenge Port of Olympia Commissioner Bill McGregor for his District 2 seat on the commission.
It’s the first time McGregor has faced an opponent since 2007, when he defeated Bill Pilkey.
Fishburn, 47, is now is president of the Hispanic Roundtable of South Sound. He recently formed his own consulting company — hoping to work in product development or team development — and plans to open a brewery called Six Pennies, he said Sunday.
Fishburn said he was disheartened by the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and decided to become politically active. He considered a run for Rainier mayor, but he lives just outside city limits, he said. He then turned his attention to the port.
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He’d like to see the port district serve the entire county because it levies a countywide property tax. He raised concerns about the port’s lines of business, saying it could show more fiscal responsibility, and he questioned the diversity of the port’s citizen advisory committee, which makes recommendations to the three-member commission.
Fishburn was born and raised in Spokane. He earned a bachelor’s degree in astronautics from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
He worked for Intel in DuPont from 1996 to 2014 and wore several different hats, including manufacturing supervisor. He later spent about a year with Intel in Seattle before the company decided to close its locations with fewer than 500 people, Fishburn said.
Fishburn was a longtime Lacey resident before he moved to the Rainier area in 2003.
Port Commissioner E.J. Zita, who has filed to defend her District 3 seat, has attracted one challenger, Juqita “Gigi” McClure, an Army veteran.
Candidates must file their intent to run for local offices with the Thurston County Auditor’s Office on May 15-19, to get their names on the 2017 primary or general election ballot. To learn more about becoming a candidate, check out the 2017 Candidate Guide.