Category Archives: Elections

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.

South Kitsap School District: An Unfortunate Series of Events

South Kitsap School District will pay an estimated $70,000 for the Aug. 18 primary election, even though one of the candidates in the three-way race for school board is ineligible.
Gail F. Porter moved out of district 3 after filing to run against incumbent Naomi Polen and former school board member Chris Lemke. By the time she informed the Kitsap County auditor’s office of her new address, the June 11 deadline to withdraw from the race had passed.
Porter said she knew she was moving at the time she filed but was unaware that her new home would be outside district 3 boundaries. Porter said her new home is not far from her old residence, so it didn’t occur to her that she would be ineligible. When she realized she had moved out of district, she asked to withdraw but was told she could not, she said.
According to Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore, candidates are not allowed to withdraw after June 11 because ballots must be printed early enough to allow for timely distribution prior to the primary, Gilmore said.

And as luck (or lack thereof) would have it, South Kitsap will bear a large portion of the total cost of the primary election, even though it is sharing the cost with other Kitsap jurisdictions, said Gilmore, who estimates the total cost of the primary at about $290,000.
South Kitsap, with 39,199 registered voters out of 119,000 total in this election, is one of the largest jurisdictions besides Central Kitsap School District, so it bears a proportionate part of the cost.
Furthermore, South Kitsap voters will only be voting on one race, unlike Bremerton, Poulsbo and Bainbridge residents, who will vote for both school board members and city council members. Those cities and school districts will share the cost of the elections within their respective boundaries where they overlap.
Porter, an Army veteran, said she would never have filed had she known what she knows now. “I totally get it,” she said. “You’ve got rules you’ve got to follow.

School Board President Patty Henderson said the district can ill afford  the $70,000 for a redundant election. “I’m sure all this (state laws) was put in place for good reason,” she said. “But unfortunately, there are unintended scenarios.”

Porter’s name will be on the primary, but not the general election ballot. If, by some chance, Porter were to win the general election, state law says the board (presumably with Polen stepping down if she were still in the race) would appoint to the position.

And for anyone keeping track, Henderson herself moved out of the district to which she was originally elected. Under state law, she was able to serve out the remainder of her term. Henderson, now into the third year of her second term, ran again and won in the district to which she had moved.

The difference between Henderson’s situation and Porter’s is that Henderson already held the office (see RCW’s below). If you’re curious, you can see all the board policies and the laws to which they relate by going to the school district’s Web site and looking under “Our District,” then “School Board,” then “Board Policies.”


Notwithstanding RCW 42.12.010(4), a school director elected from a director district may continue to serve as a director from the district even though the director no longer resides in the director district, but continues to reside in the school district, under the following conditions:

(1) If, as a result of redrawing the director district boundaries, the director no longer resides in the director district, the director shall retain his or her position for the remainder of his or her term of office; and

(2) If, as a result of the director changing his or her place of residence the director no longer resides in the director district, the director shall retain his or her position until a successor is elected and assumes office as follows: (a) If the change in residency occurs after the opening of the regular filing period provided under *RCW 29.15.020, in the year two years after the director was elected to office, the director shall remain in office for the remainder of his or her term of office; or (b) if the change in residency occurs prior to the opening of the regular filing period provided under *RCW 29.15.020, in the year two years after the director was elected to office, the director shall remain in office until a successor assumes office who has been elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term of office at the school district general election held in that year.

McWoods: A Big Fish in Port Orchard’s Pond

The McCormick Woods Annexation Committee on Tuesday submitted to the City of Port Orchard its petition for annexation into the city. Owners representing 76 percent of properties within annexation boundaries have given their consent to the proposal. The law requires a 75 percent approval rate.

Given the required steps before the City Council can issue its final approval, the soonest the annexation could take effect would be in early August.

When the annexation is finalized, Port Orchard’s population — now at about 8,500 — will increase by about 2,000 residents. That will make the city a slightly bigger fish in the statewide sea of municipalities competing for funding and legislative clout.

Residents of the McCormick Woods area, now a relatively small fish in county waters, will, as city residents, potentially wield considerable influence over Port Orchard’s future, said committee chairman Dick Davis. They would make up about 20 percent of Port Orchard’s population.

Residents would be able to vote in the November, 2009 election if the annexation is finalized by Aug. 1 as expected. They would not be able to run for city offices, however, as the filing date is June 1.

Port Orchard, as a second class city, does not have any length of residency requirements for candidates, according to Delores Gilmore of the Kitsap County Auditor’s office. Bremerton’s is one year; so is Poulsbo’s.

Once Port Orchard does annex McCormick Woods its classification as a city could change and it could be subject to different rules. There’s a lot yet to be sorted out about how the annexation will affect the city. Presumably the issue of voting districts will resurface once the annexation is complete.

Angel Revisiting Run for Re-election

A copy of this posting appears on the Kitsap Caucus.

She hasn’t said she’s changed her mind, but Jan Angel has said she’ll carefully weigh requests from constituents to defend her seat on the county’s Board of Commissioners in 2008. Angel announced in March she would not seek re-election. (See related postings here and here.)

I asked her about dynamics on the board — now that Chris Endresen is out and Steve Bauer is in. Angel, a strong proponent of NASCAR, went head to head on the issue more than once with Endresen, who now heads up U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Seattle office.

Angel stopped far short of saying that the new make-up of the board — on which she is the senior member and lone Republican — was a factor in her decision to reconsider the announcement she made in March to step-down at the end of 2008. She did allow, “I feel very comfortable about how we are working together. I feel all of our opinions are well respected. It’s enjoyable to come to work.”

Angel said the pressure of addressing the county’s budget crisis has forced her and the other two commissioners to work cooperatively, egos on a short leash.

At this point, Monty Mahan — a Democrat, son of former County Commissioner Bill Mahan and executive director of Pierce County Conservation District — is the only potential candidate who has expressed an interest in Angel’s seat, although he has not formally announced his intention to run.

Jack Hamilton, chairman of the Kitsap County Republican Party, declined to say whether his organization is urging Angel to run again.
“If I did know anything about it, I wouldn’t say,” said Hamilton “This is a personal decision that Jan is going to make. If the question is, ‘Have we had conservations about her political future?’, the answer is ‘yes.’ But the details of those conversations are a private matter.”

Coppola Unchallenged for Mayor in Early Elections Filings

Lary Coppola, who has already publicized his intention to run for Mayor of Port Orchard, is so far the lone candidate for this position.
Coppola was among 24 people who showed up at the Kitsap County auditor’s office bright and early this morning to file for an office in 2007 county elections.
Incumbent Port of Bremerton Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington, who announced last week that she will seek re-election, is also unchallenged at this time. Huntington will have to defend her seat in the wake of a large port tax hike to fund a major upgrade of the Bremerton Marina.
Also in Port Orchard, two non-incumbents who have closely followed the City Council’s deliberations on a proposed downtown plan for economic development, have stepped up to file for seats on the council. Jerry Childs, who has headed a neighborhood association of residents concerned about future building heights that may be allowed by the plan, has filed for the at-large position currently held by Bob Geiger. Geiger has said he will not run again. Cindy Lucarelli, another neighborhood association leader, has filed for position 4, currently held by John Clauson. Clauson has not said whether he will run again.
Port Orchard City Council incumbents Robert Putaansuu, position 3, and Rick Wyatt, position 5, have filed for re-election in their respective positions. Wyatt had been considering a run for the mayor’s seat. He was not immediately available for comment.
The week is young, and candidates have until 4:30 p.m. Friday to file. The Kitsap Sun will file updates on significant races throughout the week. The auditor’s office will post updates on filings twice daily on the county’s home page,

So You Want to Be A Public Servant?

Candidates for public office in 2007 will want to mark their calendars for June 4 through 8, when the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office will be accepting filing applications. Updates on who has filed for what seat will be posted twice daily on the county’s home page,
Although this is an off election year — no presidential, legislative or judicial races, at least in Kitsap County — several local races are already drawing attention. Among the most high profile contests, City of Port Orchard residents will decide who will replace outgoing Mayor Kim Abel, who has decided not to seek a second term, and long-time Port of Bremerton Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington will defend her seat following a large port levy hike in 2007.

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County Officials Step Forward for Endresen’s Seat

Two county officials have announced their intention to run for the county commissioner’s seat that will be vacated by Chris Endresen at the end of June.
Treasurer Barbara Stephenson and county public information officer Clarence Moriwaki are the latest candidates to throw their hats into the ring.
Endresen is leaving the county to head up the Washington State office of Sen. Maria Cantwell.
Stephenson, a North Kitsap resident elected as treasurer in 2002, said her understanding of the county budget would be an asset as the county prepares for at least four years of budget reductions.
Stephenson expressed a sense of urgency about making adjustments to the budget.
“I believe some things need to be addressed in this budget cycle,” she said. “It will be a challenging time, but also a rewarding time to be in county government, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve.”
Stepheson was reelected as treasurer in 2006. She is former director of the United Way of Kitsap County. Earlier in her career, she worked in the banking industry. She has lived in Kitsap County since 1977.
Moriwaki, a Bainbridge resident who assumed his post with the county little more than a month ago, said he had been thinking about declaring his candidacy for a couple of weeks, but he wanted to run it by the commissioners first.
“They were very supportive,” he said of Endresen, Josh Brown and Jan Angel.
Moriwaki has been involved with the Democratic party since the 1980s, when he worked on the state Democratic Central Committee. He also worked for the state Senate Democratic Caucus.
He has been a member of the Tukwila City Council and took a stab at a state Senate seat representing the 11th District, but was not elected.
He worked on Mike Lowry’s campaign for governor and later became his deputy communications director. He has been a spokesperson for the Clinton Administration’s Northwest Forest Plan and for the Portland Rose Festival.
Moriwaki worked for Sound Transit in Seattle from 1998-2001 before becoming disillusioned and leaving that post. Most recently he ran the Kitsap County office of Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island.
Inslee, Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel and a number of Democratic precinct committee officers have encouraged him to run, Moriwaki said.
Moriwaki said he would focus on making the county more cost-efficient.
“The county has to be smarter and leaner,” Moriwaki said. “I challenge the county to be more nimble.”

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.

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