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THE Port of Seattle is at a turning point that requires leaders who can restore trust in this critical institution and continue producing jobs and economic growth.

The Times recommends:


John Persak

John Persak

Port of Seattle Commission, Position 4

Strengths: Current policy experience advocating for port and maritime-industrial sector.

While challengers have backgrounds in government and aviation, only Persak has been in the thick of current port-related policy discussion and vigorously defending this essential component of the regional economy."

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Among numerous strong candidates running for three port commission seats, voters should elect incumbents John Creighton in Position 1 and Stephanie Bowman in Position 3, and newcomer John Persak in Position 4.

Their range of experience and expertise will best help the port as it expands Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and faces stiffer competition for shipping business, particularly from terminals in British Columbia. They should also help the port improve internal challenges around accountability and transparency and help hire a new executive director. The previous director, Ted Fick, abruptly left in February amid controversy around poorly implemented bonuses and payroll changes.

The hardest port choice is in the race for Position 4, which has an unusually strong slate.

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In a field of accomplished candidates, Persak stands out as the candidate with the most experience and commitment to supporting and expanding the port. A longshoreman, Persak has worked on the waterfront since 1998 and now serves as a policy advocate on issues such as workers’ health, the environment and land use.

As a commissioner, Persak could support extension of labor contracts and avoid another disastrous port slowdown. He should also find ways to support the inevitable modernization and automation of terminals that will change the nature of some waterfront jobs.

Even more valuable to the port and its constituents is Persak’s experience advocating for Seattle’s continued viability as a maritime and industrial hub.

While challengers have backgrounds in government and aviation, only Persak has been in the thick of current port-related policy discussions and vigorously defending this essential component of the regional economy.

Vote for Creighton, Bowman and Persak as port commissioners.