The current makeup of the Port of Olympia commission may be the same going forward.
That’s because Tuesday night’s election returns showed that District 2 incumbent Bill McGregor was leading challenger Bill Fishburn by 52.3 percent to 47.2 percent.
In the District 3 race, incumbent E.J. Zita was leading Army veteran Gigi McClure with 56.2 percent of the vote, compared to McClure’s 43.2 percent of the vote.
If McGregor prevails, it will mark his fourth term on the port commission, where he has served since 2006. McGregor is a Coast Guard veteran and a former longtime Port of Tacoma and Port of Olympia employee.
Zita was running for her first full, four-year term. In 2015, after former Commissioner Sue Gunn resigned, Zita and radio station co-owner Jerry Farmer ran to complete the remainder of Gunn’s term.
Zita teaches at The Evergreen State College and has been raising organic, grass-fed beef in the county since 1999.
In a speech to a Thurston County Young Democrats gathering at the Hotel RL Olympia, Zita thanked voters and said she’s pleased about the progressive candidates who were winning throughout Thurston County.
“We’re starting a movement here,” she said. She said she had hope Fishburn could still pull ahead in his race.
Fishburn ran because he 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. He is a former Intel employee and current small businessman.
“We need to hang in there to find out which group has spoken louder at the ballot box,” Fishburn said Tuesday night.
McClure, 52, grew up in Portland, Oregon, and spent 21 years in the Army, including a two-year tour at Fort Lewis. She retired from the military as a lieutenant colonel.
This was McClure’s first run for public office.
District 1 commissioner Joe Downing was not up for re-election.
The general election will be certified Nov. 28.