Fred Felleman made a powerful showing Tuesday in his bid to return to the Position 5 seat on the Port of Seattle Commission, winning 70% of the vote while his closest competitor in a three-candidate race, attorney Garth Jacobson, captured 22%.

The top two finishers in each of the two port contests advance to the Nov. 5 general election once all primary-election votes are tallied.

In the other race Tuesday, two candidates, Sam Cho and Grant Degginger, were leading the pack to advance in Position 2. That race has no incumbent, as Commissioner Courtney Gregoire decided not to seek re-election.

Cho, the CEO of an exporting company, had 28% in Tuesday’s count and Grant Degginger, a former Bellevue mayor, had 26%. Preeti Shridhar was in third place in the seven-candidate field, with 17 percent.

Cho touted his experience in the public and private sectors, having been an Obama administration official and having worked closely with the port.

“We want a port that works for the people,” Cho said. “I think the fact that I have all the relevant experience resonates with voters.”


Degginger, who worked to bring light rail to the Eastside, said, “We have some major challenges ahead of us and we’ve got a lot to do to get the airport to work effectively and meet the needs of this growing region.”

Cho and Degginger were the leading fundraisers in the Position 2 race.

Felleman campaigned on a platform of reducing negative environmental impacts and increasing job opportunities at the Port. He was first elected in 2016 and sits on the energy and sustainability committee. 

He said, “For me to obtain this level of command based on what I did, not what I promised, is a huge affirmation. It’s one thing to get elected, it’s another thing to get reelected.”

Election 2019: Full coverage

The winners of the fall election will join three other commissioners. They will serve four-year terms and oversee the marinas and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which has been growing exponentially and bringing with it complaints of noise pollution, congested streets and crowded parking lots.