In what’s shaping up to be a crowded field, legislative aide Joseph Atkinson has become the latest candidate in the race vying for the open City Council seat to represent Tacoma’s first district.
(Two-term City Councilman Spiro Manthou who holds the Position 1 seat now is facing term limits and ineligible from seeking re-election. The nonpartisan Position 1 seat represents Tacoma’s West End and the western half of its North End.)
Atkinson, a legislative aide to Republican Washington State Rep. Katrina Asay of Milton, is a graduate of Tacoma Community College who later earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington-Tacoma. He is also a licensed Realtor through Windermere, serves as the elected Secretary of the Ruston Point Defiance Business District and runs a local business with his wife.
Here’s part of what Atkinson says he’ll bring to the campaign, according to a press release issued March 4:
Joseph has lived in Tacoma for over 10 years, and plans on raising his two year old son in this community. “I bought my first house in Tacoma in 2006. My family and I have struggled through tough times, and we have seen firsthand the hardship this recession has taken on families and businesses. Now is the time to set the foundation for positive, sustainable growth. My dream is to see Tacoma evolve into a world class city by mixing the historic and modern, and focusing on projects that facilitate economic development.
Atkinson joins Anders Ibsen and Karen Smitherman among candidates who’ve so far formally filed for the seat.
Ibsen, a political activist, has essentially been campaigning for the council seat since early last year. Meanwhile, Smitherman, a veteran Tacoma Public Schools teacher, quietly filed her candidacy on Jan. 3, records show.
Local architect Jim Merritt, who lost to Marilyn Strickland in Tacoma’s mayoral race in 2009, also has considered running for the Position 1 seat or an at-large council seat this year. But Merritt has yet to officially file as a candidate, records show.