Port commission: Gunn Leading Davis in Potential Upset of the Night

By Rolf Boone, November 5, 2013, The Olympian

Port of Olympia District 3 commission candidate Sue Gunn was leading Commissioner Jeff Davis on Tuesday night, a potentially stunning win for a challenger who raised about half the money the incumbent did.

But Gunn said Tuesday that voters were fed up with the port and the status quo of the port, wanting more to be done about issues surrounding the port’s economic model and the Olympia Farmers Market.

She said she has a lot to learn, but she wants to be respectful and work with people.

“It’s a tall order, but I’m up for it,” Gunn said.

Davis could not be reached Tuesday.

Davis, 45, a longshoreman, was elected to the commission in 2009.

Gunn, 65, holds a doctorate in isotope geochemistry. She also has been involved in environmental causes, including as director of budgets and appropriations with The Wilderness Society.

During her campaign, Gunn said her larger goal was to bring the port into the 21st century, including reducing the “taxpayer burden.”

The Port of Olympia levies a property tax of about 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, which will generate $4.8 million in revenue this year.

That money is used to pay down debt and for environmental cleanup.

Gunn also won the support of Olympia Farmers Market vendors, who she said are concerned about the port and whether it will encroach on their operations in favor of more marine terminal storage.

Gunn and Davis combined raised more than $50,000 for their campaigns, according to state Public Disclosure Commission data.

Incumbent Davis raised about $37,000, followed by Gunn with nearly $21,000, the data show.

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