Six women are the finalists for an open Port of Seattle Commission seat, the Port announced this afternoon. The seat was vacated by State Rep. Gael Tarleton, who joined the state Legislature this year, so the commission must appoint someone to fill her seat until the end of the year. Tarleton was the only woman on the five-member commission.
The finalists are: Stephanie Bowman, of Seattle, a former government-affairs manager for the Port of Tacoma who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the state House of Representatives last year; Courtney Gregoire, the daughter of former governor Chris Gregoire who is an attorney for Microsoft and formerly worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce; Former state Sen. Claudia Kauffman, of Kent, a Native American and founder of the Native Action Network; Deborah Knutson, who formerly ran the Economic Development Council of Snohomish County; Vicki Orrico, who formerly ran for mayor of Bellevue and is a member of the Bellevue College Board of Trustees; and Nancy Wyatt, of Kent, president of the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce and former president of the Covington Chamber of Commerce.
The commissioners heard from 29 applicants Tuesday, as each gave a three-minute speech.
Some members said they hoped for an Eastside candidate, but only Orrico lives in the Eastside, in Bellevue.
“We were impressed with the quality and diversity of the candidates we heard from this week,” said Commission President Tom Albro in a statement.
The finalists will move on to two forums: One Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Downtown Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Avenue in Seattle, and one Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Renton City Council Chambers, 1055 S. Grady Way in Renton.
The commission plans to make an appointment early next month. The seat will be up for re-election in November.