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

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.