Port of Edmonds Commissioner Steve Johnston announces re-election bid

Steve Johnston

Pledging to keep the momentum at the Port of Edmonds going, Steve Johnston has formally announced he is seeking re-election to the Port of Edmonds Commission.

Johnston has served on the commission since 2016, when he was appointed to fill the at-large position vacated with the retirement of Mary Lou Block. He was elected to the position in 2017.

The five-member Port of Edmonds Commission — elected by voters of the Port District — oversee Executive Director Bob McChesney and staff, who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Port of Edmonds marina and the Harbor Square Business Complex. You can read more about the port’s history in our earlier article here.

Two other candidates have filed for the at-large seat — Selena Killin and Scott Marshall. That means the race will appear on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot, with the top two finishers advancing to the November general election. Candidates for the two other port commission races are running unopposed: Angela Harris, the incumbent for District 1, and Jay Grant for District 3. (District 3 incumbent Bruce Faires isn’t seeking re-election.)

“I am pleased and honored to have the support of many Edmonds and Woodway community leaders and residents,” Johnston said, “and look forward to continuing to advance the interests and values of the community at the port and along our beautiful waterfront.”

Johnston described his work on the commission for the past five years as “an absolute privilege.” During his tenure, Johnston said the commission has “worked hard to enhance the port waterfront and marina, providing an attractive place for people to visit while attracting boaters from all over the Salish Sea region. The Port has also attracted and provides the base for a highly successful whale-watching operation.

“Visitors to our waterfront support Edmonds’ shops and restaurants, creating jobs that benefit the community as a whole,” Johnston added.

Johnston said he is also proud to have helped develop a sound financial plan to assure that the port’s revenues from marina operations and commercial building leases at Harbor Square and the waterfront are sufficient to sustain maintenance and repair of the Port’s facilities, and that reserves have been adequate to permit replacement of “big ticket” items when they fail.

“Our revenues, net income (public profit), and reserves have grown consistently over the past decade, allowing us adequate resources to be applied against significant capital projects planned over the next four years,” he said. Johnston also noted that the port’s commercial and office buildings house businesses that employ more than 500 family-wage jobs, essentially equivalent to a second downtown.

A retired environmental and permitting specialist, Johnston said he is looking forward to applying his expertise in support of two new capital projects the port is undertaking. “We are embarking on the reconstruction of the north seawall, which supports the northern half of the port’s immensely popular portwalk,” he said.  “As part of this project, we will be improving and beautifying the portwalk, making it an even more attractive public access amenity. We will also be constructing a new port administrative and maintenance building to LEED standards, removing the old building to make way for enhanced public facilities and access.”

Johnston also said he is proud of the port’s environmental record. “We remain an environmental leader among public ports and within the community,” he said, adding that the port has invested several million dollars in environmentally friendly improvements at Harbor Square.

For additional information, visit www.stevejohnstonforport.com.



  1. It’s been a pleasure to serve with Steve on the Port of Edmonds Commission and on specific committee’s such as the communications and environmental committee. We’ve gotten a lot done together and I look forward to the continued expertise and continuity he brings as we move into the next phase of some big projects at the Port. Steve does his research and brings well thought out ideas to every engagement. I appreciate the respectful communication that he, and each commissioner, brings to the table.

  2. With over 225 Port Commissiors in Washington state we are privileged to have Steve at our our Port. Steve is well known throughout the entire WA Port community.
    He has been a major asset to the Orca task force and salmon recovery efforts.
    It has been great to be able to learn and serve with him.

  3. We are so fortunate to have Steve serving our community with his amazing environmental and project experience- at anytime, but especially this term with the huge capital projects on the horizon at the Port.

    I have a front row seat to this well-oiled machine as the Council Liaison to the Port of Edmonds and will attest that the incumbents are an amazing group of professionals. I am excited about the prospect of retaining the exceptional Steve Johnston. I am
    also so pleased to welcome newcomer Jay Grant who will be bringing his experience and knowledge of worldwide ports to ours in Edmonds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.