Category Archives: Election 2009

Recount in Powers-Lucarelli Race a Go

By Chris Henry
It’s official. There will be a recount in the race for Port Orchard City Council Position 2.
In official results, posted Monday afternoon by the Kitsap County Auditor’s office, incumbent Carolyn Powers, with 49.88 percent of the vote, was 12 votes ahead of challenger Cindy Lucarelli, with 49.38 percent.
An automatic machine recount is triggered by a margin of half a percentage point or less.
Write-in votes are not counted for purposes of determining if a recount is needed. Without the 18 write-ins the margin widens negligibly (three thousandths of a percentage point to be exact), but is still within recount range.
A difference of one ballot would have deep-sixed the possibility of a recount, according to Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore.
On Tuesday, the auditor’s office will begin reprogramming and testing its equipment, as mandated by law. Between now and the recount date, likely Dec. 3, elections officials must pull all ballots within the City of Port Orchard. They must give legal notice of the recount, and they must contact the candidates and local political parties, who will have the right to observe proceedings.
The recount must be certified by the county’s canvas board. Members include Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington, Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Charlotte Garrido, and the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s designee, Deputy Prosecutor Jacquelyn Aufderheide.
If the vote count remains the same, Powers wins the election. If the margin narrows to within a quarter of a percentage point, there will be a hand recount.
The most recent recount in Kitsap County’s elections history was the 2004 governor’s race.

PO Council Race: Lucarelli Closes in on Powers

Challenger is within recount range.

Chris Henry
Cindy Lucarelli, challenging long-time incumbent Carolyn Powers, for Port Orchard City Council position 2, moved within recount range in unofficial results Thursday. The two candidates are now separated by 10 votes.
Powers has held a whisker of a lead since the election Nov. 3. She was besting Lucarelli by .58 percentage points as of Nov. 9
In revised results, released Thursday afternoon by the Kitsap County Auditor, Powers, with 1,207 votes, had 49.83 percent of the total vote. Lucarelli had 1,197 votes for 49.42 percent of the vote. That .41 percentage point difference puts Lucarelli within the range for an automatic recount, triggered under state law by a margin of less than half a percentage point.
There are currently 18 write-in votes.
Results of the election will not be certified until Tuesday, and Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore cautioned that things still could change. The county has a total of 14 challenged ballots received from the City of Port Orchard. These are unsigned ballots or ballots in which the signature does not match up with the voter registration. Voters have the chance to verify their signature by affidavit or in person, but it must be done by Monday afternoon. There are also military votes that could arrive before the final count, Gilmore said.
Powers is on a trip out of the country and was unavailable for comment.
Lucarelli is encouraged and eager to see the final count Tuesday.
“I have nothing to lose at this point,” she said. “It’s very exciting for me. I can’t wait to see what happens. … Hope springs eternal.”
Lucarelli is having a bit of deja vu. In 2007, she came within 3.12 percentage points of beating incumbent John Clauson, who has been on the council for more than 26 years. Powers was appointed to the council in 1988 to fulfill an unexpired term and has been reelected five times.

PO Council: One Vote Could Mean a Recount in Powers-Lucarelli Race

After Thursday’s election’s update, a single vote could trigger an automatic recount in the race for Port Orchard City Council Position 2.
Incumbent Carolyn Powers has 1,206 votes and 49.90 percent of 2,417 votes total, including 18 write-ins. Cindy Lucarelli has 1,193 votes and 49.36 percent of the grand total.
An automatic recount is triggered when the certified vote count, due Nov. 24, shows candidates within .5 percentage points of one another. According to Kitsap County Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore, write-in votes by law are not factored into calculations to determine if an automatic recount is in order.
Without the write-ins, Powers has 50.27 percent of the vote, and Lucarelli has 49.73. If Lucarelli earned at least one more vote (and Powers earned none), those percentages would change to 50.25 and 49.75 respectively, giving a margin of .5 percent.
Granted, with an estimated 50 votes left to count county-wide, there are still a number of scenarios that could produce other results.
Gilmore said races this close are notable but certainly not unheard-of.
“We’ve seen it where it’s been very close. We’ve had tie races and tossed coins,” she said.
A coin toss occurs if, after the recount, the race is still tied. Such situations typically occur in smaller districts, where the number of votes have a bigger impact percentage-wise. Gilmore has seen five coin toss races during her career in elections.
Votes are recounted by machine if candidates are within .5 percentage points of each other. They are manually recounted if the margin is .25 percentage points or fewer.
Stayed tuned for our follow-up coverage of this and other races in Election 2009.

Mayor Coppola on the Mend (and Feisty) After Recent Surgery

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola said he’s doing “better every day” after emergency surgery on Oct. 22. Coppola, 59 and otherwise in good health, was admitted to Harrison Medical Center Oct. 20 for treatment of a cyst on his tailbone that had ruptured and become infected.

On his West Sound Politics blog Tuesday, Coppola said it was, “Nothing life-threatening, but fairly serious just the same, and recovery has just been slower than I had hoped.”

Coppola was in the hospital for six days. Throughout the ordeal he dropped 30 pounds, and it shows. He’s been working short days, 7 or 8 hours versus 12 to 15, annoyed with having to slow down and impatient to get back up to speed.

“I expect to be back to full strength in a week or two,” he said.

Coppola, in the blog post, shows himself scrappy as ever, pulling no punches in his acerbic recap of the Nov. 3 election.

On the Bremerton mayoral race, he appeared to criticize both candidates, calling Patty Lent, the apparent winner, “a nice person, but not really what I would term a decisive decision maker.” He handed Will Maupin a sideways compliment, saying, “I believe he is the best qualified for the job. However, based on my own personal experiences, his uncompromising, ‘My Way of the Highway’ style wouldn’t play well with the other electeds he’d have to deal with. For this reason alone, Bremerton may be better off with Lent at the helm.”

Coppola had a similar assessment of Becky Erickson, who ousted incumbent Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade. Coppola wrote, “While Erickson is very smart and very resourceful, her highly aggressive personal style isn’t going to play well with the other electeds she has to work with in order to get anything done. Quade didn’t just lose here — I think Poulsbo did.”

Speaking of having to work with people, I asked the mayor if he wasn’t worried about burning political bridges. Coppola had no worries on this count. He said he’s simply providing a political analysis, and nothing that hasn’t been said before. “I don’t think I’m the only one to say that out loud,” he said of his comments about Maupin and Lent.

Closer to home, Coppola conveyed in no uncertain terms his dismay over results of the race for City Council Position 6, in which incumbent Fred Chang easily beat challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno.

Coppola in his blog elaborated on his decision not to endorse Igloi-Matsuno, even though he endorsed incumbent Carolyn Powers over challenger Cindy Lucarelli in the position 2 race. “I believed Amy should win on her own. I didn’t want her tarred with any negativity that could be attributed to me.”

What negativity? I asked.

“I knew that Fred Chang was out there talking about the mayor’s salary,” Coppola said, referencing the council’s decision to give full-time compensation for the mayor’s position for the first six months of 2009. The decision, the council discovered on closer look at the WACs, will remain in effect through the remainder of Coppola’s term. The law allows a council to increase a sitting mayor’s salary, but not to reduce it until the seat comes up for election.

Coppola in his blog slammed Chang, saying “… what has disturbed me the most were reports from people who stated that when doorbelled by Chang, he claimed to be ‘…the only council member who opposed the Mayor tripling his own salary.’ It doesn’t get much sleazier than that.”

The factual inaccuracy of the statement in quotes is that the mayor doesn’t adjust his own salary the council does.

I asked, could those who bent the mayor’s ear by chance have misinterpreted Chang? Coppola said several people called him during the campaign, and the message was similar enough to convince him that Chang had been using the mayoral salary issue as a political wedge.

Chang today said he he knows full well how the process works and would not have made such a statement. He has always supported the idea of a full-time mayor, he said. But he has always felt the matter should be put to a vote of city residents (as does Fred Olin). Chang said he probably did agree to the concept of a full-time mayor in the September work study session Coppola mentions, but it’s also true he voted against two ordinances related to the mayor’s salary when they came before the council.

“I don’t think I’ve ever made it (the salary issue) personal about the mayor,” said Chang, who hopes he and Coppola can resume the “productive” working relationship they had before the election.

Coppola, too, said election-related prickliness won’t change dynamics on the council. When the dust settles, it will be business as usual.

On the topic of endorsements, I asked Coppola if, in endorsing Powers, he didn’t worry she, too, would be harmed by the “negativity” he feared would harm Igloi-Matsuno’s campaign. He didn’t.

“Carolyn is not a political neophyte. Amy was,” he said.
“I wanted her to win if she was going to win on her own terms.”

Polen Comments on SKSD Board Race Results

Incumbent South Kitsap School District board member Naomi Polen, who was appointed to fill an unexpired term in 2008, has been edged out by former board member Chris Lemke. Polen has served on the board for 18 months. Lemke was among those who asked to be considered for the appointment.

Lemke had earned 60.24 percent of the vote in unofficial results Tuesday. Polen took 38.67 percent. A total of 11,403 votes had been counted.

On Wednesday, Polen said she was “disappointed.”
“I really enjoyed the time I was working with the board,” she said. “I was really looking forward to seeing some of the projects through.”

Specifically, Polen has been a strong advocate of policy governance, an operational model under which school board members would set out broad policies and goals, then give the superintendent wide authority to meet the goals.

The district is taking a year to draw up goals for policy governance with input from district staff and community members. Polen said she’ll stay involved in the monthly “Call to Action” meetings that are open to the public. She expressed confidence in Lemke’s ability to pick up the baton and keep the momentum going.

“Once Chris gets on board, I’m sure he’ll see the importance of it and get involved,” she said.

Lemke has said he sees advantages to policy governance and is comfortable with the concept as long as the board retains oversight of the superintendent through regular reviews.

Polen said the board will need to remain attentive to the “constant battle” of promoting community involvement on decisions and actions that affect the district.

She also plans to stay involved in the district’s “Whole Child” initiative to hook students and their families up with community resources outside the classroom. The district has a link to resources available through volunteers and other groups on its Web site. Aspects within the Whole Child program include mentoring — Polen mentors a seventh grader — food through Backpacks for Kids, medical needs and more.

“I’ll stay active,” Polen said. “I’ll just keep my ear close to what the board’s doing. I’m grateful for the time I had. Apparently God had a different plan for me.”

Lucarelli-Powers Race Too Close to Call

Incumbent Fred Chang is beating challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno, despite her heavy investment in the campaign. Igloi-Matsuno spent $18,662 to Chang’s $9,212, for a total of more than $27,000. I’d say it’s safe to say that’s a record for campaign spending in a Port Orchard council race. In unofficial results, Chang had 54.57 percent of votes counted to Igloi-Matsuno’s 45.10 percent.

Kitsap County Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore on Tuesday evening reported that 35.77 percent of votes in the City of Port Orchard have been counted so far. There are 5,082 registered voters in the city. The county auditor’s office is expecting a 50 percent turnout, Gilmore said.

In the race for city council position 2, incumbent Carolyn Powers, seeking a sixth term on the council, held a sliver of a lead over challenger Cindy Lucarelli.
Powers had 50.35 percent of the vote to Lucarelli’s 49.01 percent.
“I don’t think I have any choice but to wait and see what comes tomorrow,” said Powers, who has served on the council since 1988.
Lucarelli, who was defeated in 2007 in a race against veteran councilman John Clauson, was optimistic about the results.
“I’d like to have it the other way around but, hay, that’s pretty close, and there were a lot of ballots that were mailed in late. I’m hoping it gets turned around,” she said.

The auditor’s office will post revised counts daily at 5 p.m.
“By Friday, we should have the majority of the ballots to be counted,” Gilmore said.

The Chang – Igloi-Matsuno Race: A Footnote

Tomorrow evening, we’ll know the outcome of the race for Port Orchard City Council Position 6 between incumbent Fred Chang and challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno. I’d like to address a comment posted during the campaign on a letter to the editor.

As I wrote in my coverage of the race, Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola has been clear he admires Igloi-Matsuno’s business savvy and community involvement. But he has not officially endorsed her, as he has incumbent Carolyn Powers in her race against Cindy Lucarelli for Position 2. That has raised public speculation about the possibility of Coppola’s providing behind-the-scenes support to Igloi-Matsuno’s campaign.

Kkurly, in a comment on an Oct. 8 letter to the editor, questioned Igloi-Matsuno’s use of Coppola’s Wet Apple Media for graphic work related to her campaign, suggesting it would be a gift. Kkurley said, “Let’s ask Amy to do this before the election….pay her bill to Wet Apple printing.” In fact, a filing submitted Oct. 27 to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission shows she has. The statement of revenue and expenditures from Igloi-Matsuno’s campaign treasurer Jennifer Christine shows the bill for $5,075 was paid Oct. 16. Services were for “graphic design for all printed materials and Web site design.”

For the record, Christine is a Wet Apple employee who also volunteered for Coppola’s campaign in 2008. She said she does not make filings on company time.

McCormick Woods Voters: Size Matters

When McCormick Woods development was annexed into Port Orchard in July it added 1,280 parcels of property to city boundaries and increased the population from just more than 8,000 to more than 10,000. According to James Weaver, director of development, it was the largest annexation population-wise in the city’s history.

For city leaders, the increase in size means Port Orchard is in a better position to compete for state grants and other government funding.

The annexation also added more than 1,500 registered voters to the city’s rolls. The annexation was finalized too late for McCormick Woods to be included in the August primary, but now that the number of voters has been tallied for the general election, it’s apparent McWoods voters could carry significant influence in the Nov. 3 city council races (two of four contested).

According to Dolores Gilmore, Kitsap County elections manager, there were 3,602 Port Orchard voters before the primary. After the annexation, the number of registered voters has jumped to 5,150.

Gilmore has not researched the stats, but she’s confident McWoods was one of the largest annexations in the county’s recent history.

For candidates, it’s 1,500 more voters to hit with door-belling and campaign signs.

“They (McWoods residents) have a known track record, as I understand it,” said Carolyn Powers, defending her seat on the council against challenger Cindy Lucarelli. “They have a high number of registered voters and a high turn-out. It’s a whole new picture you might say for the City of Port Orchard.”

At the same time, said Powers, “we can’t forget about the rest of the people who have been the core of the city.”

Although the city now has more than 5,000 voters, candidates won’t automatically have to file campaign finance reports with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, at least until the next election. Candidates in cities with fewer than 5,000 voters only need to file if they are raising more than $5,000 in funding. Those in cities with more than 5,000 voters must file regardless of how much they raise. The PDC looks at the number of registered voters in the previous general election, so the old rules still apply to the Nov. 3 election.

Powers, Fred Chang and Amy Igloi Matsuno have filed this election with the PDC, raising to date $5,505.92, $7,886.90 and $19,290.27 respectively.

Look for coverage of contested city council races Saturday in the Kitsap Sun.

Find information on all candidates in the Kitsap Sun’s election guide.

Ballot Boo-Boo Affects McCormick Woods Voters

By now you may have read the Kitsap Caucus blog post by Steve Gardner on the 75 McCormick Woods ballots that were misprinted. According to Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington, they did not include Port Orchard City Council races, even though McWoods was annexed into the city in July. New ballots will be issued, and Steve is looking into other details of the snafu. In the meantime, we’re hoping to hear from anyone who received one of the misprinted ballots. If you’re among them, give me a call at (360) 792-9219 or e-mail me at Thanks.

Chris Henry, South Kitsap/government reporter

Election 2009: Port Orchard Council Candidates Forum

Today I attended a forum of candidates for Port Orchard City Council hosted by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce. If you missed the forum but are interested in this race, here’s your chance to play catch-up (press release sent by League of Women Voters of Kitsap):

Meet Port Orchard City Council Candidates Oct. 14

The League of Women Voters of Kitsap will host a forum for Port Orchard City Council candidates at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Port Orchard City Hall, 216 Prospect St.
Candidates are Cindy Lucarelli and Carolyn Powers for Position 2; Robert Putaansuu (unopposed) for Position 3; Fred Chang and Amy Igloi-Matsuno for Position 6; and Jerry Childs (unopposed) for At Large.
Note that the date has been changed. The forum was originally planned for Oct. 15 but was moved to accommodate participants’ schedules.
The public is welcome to attend and to submit questions for the candidates. For information call (360) 871-3993.