Coppola Says He’ll Run for PO Mayor

Lary Coppola, publisher of the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, has announced his intention for run for mayor of Port Orchard. Incumbent Mayor Kim Abel announced in April that she would not seek a second term.

Coppola, who authors the blog West Sound Politics, said his agenda will include public safety, economic development and revitalization of the downtown area.

“On a per-capita basis, violent crime in Port Orchard is higher than in Seattle. That’s simply unacceptable,” Coppola said.

Coppola believes that the waterfront area is being underutilized and would like the city to do more to attract boaters to Port Orchard’s marina. He would also like to establish a free, city-wide Wi-Fi network.

Coppola said he will shift the focus of his blog to his campaign until after the election. During the campaign, he will use guest editorials in the Kitsap Business Journal instead of writing his own.

Coppola and his wife, Dee, who formerly lived in Manchester, moved to Port Orchard last year, living for a time on their boat before moving into a condo at The Rockwell. Coppola said the move was precipitated by a major remodel of their Manchester home, which they still own, but that he was also thinking of running for mayor at that time. His move within city limits establishes his eligibility to run for mayor.

Coppola dismisses comparisons between himself and Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown, who moved to Central Kitsap and whose residency was challenged in a lawsuit after his election last year. The judge ruled in favor of Brown.

“I think my situation and Josh’s are completely different,” Coppola said. “Any kind of comparison would be irrelevant.”

Coppola has been a South Kitsap resident since 1975. He is president of Wet Apple Media, which publishes the Business Journal and WestSound Home & Garden Magazine.

Coppola is vice chairman of the Kitsap County Planning Commission and served as the commission’s chairman in 2003. He led the Port Orchard-Kitsap County subarea planning process, which set the boundaries of South Kitsap’s urban growth area. He is on the board of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance.

Coppola and his wife are raising their 3-year-old grandson, Bryce. He said part of his motivation for running for mayor is to ensure jobs for the next generation.

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