Northwest Asian Weekly
Cindy Ryu earned the distinction of being the first female Korean American mayor in the United State two years ago when she was elected as Shoreline’s mayor.
This year, Marilyn Strickland, born in Seoul, may follow up on Ryu’s accomplishment by becoming Tacoma’s mayor.
At press time on Wednesday, Nov. 4, Strickland led in votes by a very narrow margin of 50.16 percent to Jim Merritt’s 49.58 percent. About half of the votes had been counted.
“We still have a big slug of votes to go,” Strickland told Tacoma’s The News Tribune on election night. “But we like the way the trends are going.”
At press time, incumbent Ryu trailed opponent Shari Tracey, 48.04 percent to 51.70 percent. Tracey is a former chief of staff for King County Council member Bob Ferguson.
After working with her husband, Cody, with his insurance practice, Ryu became politically involved for the first time at age 45. She ran for Shoreline City Council for the first time in 2003 and lost. In 2005 she ran again and became a council member. In 2007, she got the council votes she needed to become the first female Korean American mayor in the United States and started her term in January 2008.
“My suggestion to anyone is, ‘Hey! You got this passion for public service — don’t give up,’ ” Ryu said in February 2008, at the beginning of her term as mayor of Shoreline. “Just try and try again. I’m a case study.”
Ryu could not be reached for a comment regarding the current race by press time. ♦