Our friend The Bremelogger
hosted a debate for Maupin and Lent last night, following a
League of Women Voters event for the Bremerton mayoral
No slight at the LWV, since they’ve been in the business of
promoting elections for years and have covered the county with
forums this season, but when phrases like “pool of blood” and a
question about urban chickens* become part of the debate, you know
it’s not the typical candidates forum. Which is a good thing, given
a primary turnout that clearly showed many voters aren’t being
reached. So the candidates were good sports to participate in
something a bit out of the ordinary.
Host Chris Kornelis played it glib (joking about
those turnout numbers, former Mayor Bozeman, and his daily ferry
commute), let audience members take the mic for their own questions
and follow ups, and finished at least one can of Pabst Blue Ribbon
during his hour of interviewing. Wednesday’s gig also boasted
better attendance than Monday’s, with maybe 50 in a standing-room
only at the cramped back room at the Hi-Fidelity Lounge on Sixth
Street just off Wycoff**. (The LWV forum played to a 3/4 empty
council chambers at the Government Center, though it will be
replayed on BKAT three more times, including this morning at 10
That was the third public forum between these two I’ve watched,
not including two editorial
board interviews***. So I’m a little fatigued on listening to how
downtown can improve or what the budget strategy should be next
year****. A lot of the viewpoints have been very similar, and the
tone, for the most part, has been cordial. Unfortunately, that
doesn’t always paint a clear picture to help voters decide. The two
butted heads just a bit in our interview last week, when Maupin
scoffed at Lent’s suggestion to save money on future street repairs
by including the work with stormwater projects funded by the state.
Other than that, the gloves stayed on.
Wednesday’s most aggressive statement came again from the
sitting city councilman, asked to name a different between the two.
Maupin had played on his working-class Aberdeen roots and shipyard
background early in the interview, and concluded with this: “She’s
a politician, I’m not.” (Lent was a county commissioner for one
term, before losing in the 2006 primary.) Lent wasn’t baited by the
comment, and stuck to her guns by simply reiterating her passion
for the city, business background and “fresh” perspective.
Lent’s best point of the evening, which also came up in our
interview and seems to be one of the campaign’s really good ideas,
was her promise to aggressively court small manufacturing
businesses here from the Kent Valley, where they are in pretty
serious danger of being flooded by the Green River due to a leaking
dam in the Cascades.
But she missed one with the crowd when she passed on giving an
opinion on state issue R-71, saying she hadn’t yet made up her
mind. Maupin said he’s in favor of keeping the domestic partnership
law on the books. (To be fair, Maupin drew his own eye-roll, when
an opening joke about being “born at a very early age” fell
The other state issue, Tim Eyeman’s I-1033, came up Monday. Both
Lent and Maupin said they disagreed with initiative, as presently
Both answered the “pool of blood” question with assurances that
law enforcement, and cleaning up blighted neighborhoods that harm
Bremerton’s reputation, will be a priority. And then they walked
out onto those very streets in the Callow neighborhood, letting the
kids stay and listen to Boise rockers Finn Riggins*****. The
opening act had done its job.
— David Nelson
*City Councilman Roy Runyon is hosting a district meeting at
5:30 tonight at Cora’s Diner on 4th Street. On the agenda? Yup.
**Maupin’s father-in-law, former Bremerton Mayor Whitey Domstad,
owned a tavern at that site until the mid-1950s, called
***Endorsements begin this weekend and run through next week, if
you want to hold your ballot a few days to see our opinion.
****Believe it or not, there’s at least two more coming up.
Monday from 5-8 p.m., Mike Siegel of KITZ radio will interview the
two at the Comfort Inn, and then Tuesday they’ll be at the Chamber
of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues breakfast (also, incidentally, held
at a bar).
*****Kornelis told me he used to be in Finn Riggins. But having
two drummers is awkward in a rock band, and that was that.