The Seattle Times endorses Tom Albro and Rob Holland for the open seats on the Port of Seattle Commission.

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THE Seattle Times endorses Tom Albro and Rob Holland for Port of Seattle commissioner.

The Port’s five commissioners, paid $6,000 a year, set policy for Elliott Bay cargo terminals, Fishermen’s Terminal, Shilshole Marina and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. There are two contested seats, each offering a candidate supported by unions and a candidate from the business world. With Albro and Holland, we have one from each side.

For Position 3, our choice is Holland, the union-backed candidate. Holland lives in Seattle. He is a great-nephew of former Seattle City Councilman Sam Smith and has close ties to the Democratic Party. He works at Seaport Energy selling diesel fuel, and knows the Port as a customer.

His opponent, David Doud, lives in Medina, and has run for the Legislature from there as a Republican. Both Holland and Doud vow to make the Port competitive. Holland has been outspoken about protecting industrial land from other uses. Doud has not; in his interview with The Times, he argued for higher rates of return from Port land. Doud works in commercial real estate, and that is how that industry thinks; but rate of return cannot be the top priority at a public port district.

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For Position 4, our choice is Albro. A Seattle resident, he is an entrepreneur who has built up several successful companies, including the Seattle Monorail. None of his companies has an obvious conflict-of-interest problem with the Port. Albro helped rescue the Municipal League nearly a decade ago. He is a civic-minded businessman with a thoughtful, steady manner that we like.

He is less tied to any particular interest than his opponent, former state Rep. Max Vekich, D-Grays Harbor, now a Seattle resident and member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

We believe Holland and Albro would provide King County voters the strongest representation.

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