Officially, Robert Thoms has only been a member of the Tacoma City Council for four days.
Thoms formally filed a candidate registration with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission on Jan. 17 — two days after the City Council tapped him to fill the vacant council seat.
Thoms emerged as the designated appointee from a pool of seven candidates who applied to fill the non-partisan seat vacated by two-term Councilman Jake Fey. Fey left the seat Dec. 31 with a year remaining on his second term, after winning election to the Legislature as a Democratic state representative for Tacoma.
During his appointment interview, Thoms told council members he intended to run for the seat when it came up for election later this year. Several other applicants also told the council they would run, too — setting the stage for a potentially crowded field.
In an email today, Thoms wrote about his early filing:
I think the best way to know how I can truly serve the 2nd District is to get out and meet residents and learn directly from them what their vision of our community is and what are the major issues our council can help with. I didn’t come to the decision to seek this position without great thought and support from my family and once we arrived that doing so was the best way for us to serve our community I knew I would run regardless of the outcome of the appointment process. I am proud I was appointed, but I am looking forward to seeking election to this seat and learning first hand now I can best serve.
Thoms so far is the only candidate to formally register for the seat. Records show he hasn’t raised any money yet — and he wrote “pending” in the fields of the registration asking for the names of his campaign treasurer and committee officers.
Thoms, 42, a Navy reservist and public affairs lobbyist, was formally sworn in as a council member during the council’s regular meeting Tuesday. A former aide to Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, Thoms drew a crowd of well-connected friends to witness his swearing-in, including former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg and Pierce County Councilwoman Connie Ladenburg. Several aides for Cantwell, former U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks and his replacement, Congressman Derek Kilmer, also attended the ceremony.