Radio station sales manager and personality Jerry Farmer announced Thursday that he has applied to be appointed and will seek election for the District 3 seat on the Port of Olympia Commission.
That’s the parallel process that resulted from former commissioner Sue Gunn’s resignation on April 1, requiring that the port appoint someone to fill the seat through November. But the seat also is up for election because she resigned before the local candidate filing deadline of May 15.
Farmer, 62, said he has applied to the port for appointment — the deadline is May 8 for those interested in possibly being appointed to fill the seat — and he plans to make his election bid official next week with a filing to the state Public Disclosure Commission.
“This is an extension of my commitment to community service,” said Farmer who frequently is involved with community events as a public speaker.
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If he wins the seat, he would complete the final two years of Gunn’s term. Port commissioners serve four-year terms. The Port Commission appointment is expected to happen in June.
This is Farmer’s first bid to hold elected office. He currently works as a sales manager at and co-owns Olympia-based KRXY 94.5-FM, better known as Roxy.
Farmer has lived full-time in Olympia since 1976. He said he loves the area and believes that economic vitality and environmental sustainability are not mutually exclusive ideas, and that the port is a nexus of those two worlds.
“By and large, the thrust of the port has been good and good for the community,” he said.
Farmer said he hasn’t formed a committee of people to help him with his race, but people have offered their support, he said.
“I feel like I have a lot of community support,” Farmer said.
Farmer has held several jobs over the years before joining the radio station. He has worked in marketing, sold life insurance, been an investment counselor and also has been involved with community affairs and entertainment programming at TCTV.
One of his first jobs in the area was working for Dave Wilson at Dirty Dave’s Pizza Parlor in Olympia. Farmer earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California.
A check of the state Public Disclosure Commission on Thursday showed that no one else has filed to run for the District 3 seat. State worker Joe Downing has filed to run against District 1 incumbent George Barner. So far Downing has raised about $18,000. Barner has yet to file, according to the PDC.
Former Commissioner Gunn resigned April 1 to give her more time to recover from open-heart surgery. Her time away from the commission became controversial because incumbent Commissioner Bill McGregor had decided not to excuse her from Port Commission meetings.