Coppola is Heavy Hitter in PO Mayoral Primary

Saunders said he’s “very pleased” to be moving on to the general election.
By Chris Henry
Port Orchard Mayoral Candidate Lary Coppola easily locked in a slot in the general election, earning just over 58 percent of votes (591 out of a total of 1,016) in today’s primary election. Tom Saunders will also move on, with 271 votes, nearly 27 percent of ballots cast.
Out of the running is candidate Kathleen Dolan-Bowes, who earned just over 13 percent of the vote with 136 of the ballots cast. Write-in candidates earned 18 votes or 1.77 percent.

Coppola, speaking from a supporters’ rally at Puerto Vallarta in Port Orchard, said he was “very humbled and very grateful” to his supporters. He said he was pleasantly surprised by the margin with which he sailed into the November election.
“I didn’t know what to expect to be honest,” said Coppola. “I am a supremely self-confident individual, but something like this is such a complete unknown to me that I didn’t know what to expect. I’m thrilled.”
Coppola has raised more than $26,000 in cash donations and more than $5,000 worth of in-kind contributions toward his campaign, as compared to his competitors, whose campaign contributions were under the $5,000 threshold for a city the size of Port Orchard and so not listed on the state Public Disclosure Commission Web site. But he doesn’t believe it’s overkill, and he’s not taking anything for granted.
“We didn’t set out to raise that much money. I just think people are ready for a change,” said Coppola. “We have campaigned all along like we were 20 points ahead, but we’ve worked like we were 20 points behind, and we’ll just continue to do that”
Saunders’ reaction to the news that he will advance to the general election was characteristically understated.
“I’m really happy about that,” he said.
Asked about the reasons behind his success, he said, “I think just getting out there talking with the people, finding out what they want and being myself. I don’t have any hidden agendas or any personal agendas. I’m just me. Now I have to get back out there and keep canvassing the city.”
Saunders said he is not intimidated by Coppola’s war chest.
“I went into this not really to win the sign game,” Saunders said. “He’s probably got a lot more supporters and backers.”
Saunders said his strategy will be to earn votes one at a time, face-to-face.
“I’m going to try to hit every voter out there and let them know who I am and what I stand for,” he said.
Saunders was raised in Bremerton and attended West High School. He formerly worked as a manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and has owned his own business, Saunders Appraisal, for 36 years. He is a long-time member of Kitsap Kiwanis Club, and he served in the state level of the Kiwanis organization.
Coppola is editor of the Kitsap Business Journal and host of the West Sound Politics blog. He owns Wet Apple Media, which produces the Kitsap Business Journal and other publications. He is serving his second term on the Kitsap County Planning Commission and has chaired the Citizen’s Advisory Group for joint City of Port Orchard/Kitsap County Sub Area Planning Process. He was the 2005-2006 chair of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance.
Join a conversation about Port Orchard politics at Speaking of South Kitsap, a blog at

One thought on “Coppola is Heavy Hitter in PO Mayoral Primary

  1. Chris….800 + votes in the tiny burb of Manchester yet we get no mention? I know the race is to close to call but how about at least a mention of it? Percentage wise we have far less voters then the City Of P O yet we had a better turn out…dont you think?

Leave a Reply

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

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

(Not a trick question) What color is the pink house?