TACOMA, WA – The race for Tacoma City Council heated up today with the announcement that teacher and football coach, John Hines, will run now for the District 1 seat against Councilmember Anders Ibsen instead of running for the at-large seat.
In explaining his decision to switch, Hines said: “I have doorbelled nearly 2,000 homes, many of them in my own community in District 1. Residents in the district have repeated the same concern over and over: they don’t feel heard and are hungry for new representation. After the enormous amount of feedback, I realized this isn’t a citywide issue, it’s a District 1 issue.”
Residents in District 1 aren’t alone in their dissatisfaction with the current representation. With today’s announcement, Hines is announcing a long list of elected officials, teachers, labor and business activists and leaders, local Democrats and social service providers who are taking the unusual step of endorsing against an incumbent and colleague.
A sample of today’s endorsements include: Mayor Marilyn Strickland; Councilmembers Victoria Woodards, Robert Thoms, David Boe, Marty Campbell, Lauren Walker, and Joe Lonergan; Pierce County Councilmembers Rick Talbert and Connie Ladenburg, former Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag, former Tacoma Mayors Harold Moss, Mike Crowley and Karen Vialle; Tacoma School Board members Catherine Ushka and Kurt Miller. More endorsements will be announced in the coming days.
In explaining her endorsement of Hines, Mayor Strickland said, “John’s solid, professional experience as an educator and coach brings a much-needed perspective to the Council as we continue to partner with our schools. As a union member who understands the needs of small businesses, John will be a strong addition to the team.”
Councilmembers were more pointed. Councilmembers Boe and Campbell released a joint statement: “We understand this is unprecedented. It speaks to style and the relationship the incumbent has with this Council. But more importantly, it speaks to the high quality and caliber of John Hines. He is the type of legislator with whom we’d want to serve and build a better Tacoma.”
Hines, born and raised in Tacoma, is a high school teacher and football coach. Hines’ vision for the Tacoma City Council specifically includes focusing development away from single family neighborhoods and toward under-utilized parts of the city. He believes that preserving neighborhood character should be a priority when considering development. This would allow for density and avoid rapidly increasing home prices and values that are forcing residents on limited or fixed incomes out of the city.
Youth development and mentorship have always been at the center of Hines’ community involvement. He is currently a football coach at Henry Foss High School and was previously a coach at Stewart Middle, Lakes High and Todd Beamer High schools. Hines is also a former Alumni Board member and mentor of the College Success Foundation, an organization that improves college access to underrepresented students by providing scholarships and mentoring to low income, high performing students. In 2014, Hines was the keynote speaker for the Tacoma Empowering Youth Luncheon.
In his free time, Hines runs marathons and is a trivia buff. In 2012, Hines was a semi-finalist on the game show, Jeopardy, during their Teachers Tournament. Hines has lived all over Tacoma from the South and West ends to the North end where he resides currently with his wife, Kelsey, and their son, Garyn.