Downing kicks off campaign for Port Commissioner

March 18th, 2015 by Ken

Nearly 150 friends and supporters of Joe Downing kicked off his campaign for Olympia Port Commissioner Wednesday morning at the Lacey Community Center.

Downing, a former member of the port’s Citizen Advisory Committee,  touted his credentials and offered his experience and education as reasons he should be the next port commissioner.

But, it was his campaign manager and wife Myra, who boiled the campaign down to its roots.   “Joe needs to get name recognition,” she said.  “He’s running against a familiar name and he needs to get his name out.   When people think of the Port of Olympia, they need to think of Joe Downing,” she said.

The reference to “name” was of course George Barner, whose position on the port commission is the one Downing is seeking.

In an interview Tuesday on KGY Radio, Downing said he knows it’s going to be hard running against a “community icon” but said he couldn’t worry about that.   He said he just has to get his name out to people and let them compare credentials.

Barner has said he would seek re-election.

Downing’s campaign committee said they had received as least one $300 check from an anonymous donor – – implying that the donor wanted change, but didn’t want to upset Barner.

Among the 150 supporters present were three elected officials – – Port Commissioner Bill McGregor, former Lacey Mayor and council member Virgil Clarkson and Lacey Council member Mike Steadman.  Clarkson said he came just to learn more about Downing.


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