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Candidates react to final result in mayor's race
The second count of ballots matched the first in Port Orchard’s mayoral election, confirming that Tim Matthes won by five votes — 2,442 to 2,437 — over Mayor Lary Coppola.
The Kitsap County Auditor’s Office released the results Tuesday of a hand recount that was required because the difference in the election was less than one-fourth of one percent.
Coppola, the incumbent who was seeking re-election to a second term as mayor, released a statement shortly after the recount affirmed the outcome.
In that statement, he thanked his supporters, praised the city staff he’s worked with and cited the accomplishments of his administration over the past four years.
“While I’m disappointed in the results, I also strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and the universe has a better plan for me going forward,” he said in his statement.
In his own post-recount statement released Wednesday, Matthes said “This election is a great example of why every vote is so important.”
The mayor-elect also thanked his supporters, adding that “For me, this election was not all about electing Tim as mayor. It is more about you and I working together to make our city a better place to live.”
Coppola, who with his wife owns Wet Apple Media that publishes the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal and WestSound Home & Garden magazine, did not indicate in his statement what he might do after leaving office. However, he did say in a phone interview Tuesday that he has no interest in running for other elected office, although he’s been approached by people who suggested he run for county commissioner or the state legislature.
And he won’t be running for mayor again.
“I’m done,” he said on the phone, noting that the recent campaign “was so ugly, I don’t want to expose myself or my family to this again.”
In the statement he released, Coppola took a swipe at the negative tactics that supporters of Matthes used during the campaign.
“We took the high road throughout and ran a clean campaign based on the issues,” his statement reads. “Unfortunately, when my political opponents realized they couldn’t attack our record of solid, positive accomplishments, they resorted to attacking my personal integrity and character using a series of blatant lies, half-truths, and innuendo — and enough voters bought into it to make the small difference. Such is the nature of politics.”
Matthes, contacted by phone Tuesday after the recount results and Coppola’s statement were released, had little to say about the divisive election campaign.
“My comment is pretty much the same as it’s been all along: We know who he is and we saw what he did,” Matthes said. “His record speaks for itself, and if he doesn’t like it and is trying to spin it, well, we know who he is and we saw what he did.”
This is the full text of the statement Tim Matthes sent to the Port Orchard Independent:
It has been a long process. The hand recount and final certification are finished. Five votes — you must be kidding! This election is a great example of why every vote is so very important.
Thanks to Auditor Walter Washington and his wonderfult staff for all their guidance and patience explaining the recount process. Delores Gilmore and her staff conducted this recount with integrity and professionalism. As I have always said, 'professionals make a hard job look easy.'
Thanks to all who worked so diligently to see this day happen, especially those that braved the cold and rain to doorbell and wave signs with me.
For me, this election was not all about electing Tim as Mayor. It is more about you and I working together to make our city a better place to live. It is my honor and pleasure to represent you. God willing, I will do so with integrity and enthusiasm. Additionally, with your continued guidance and help we can make a difference in this place and time.
If you have any ideas about how we can improve our city, please call. By working together, we can move our city forward. I am excited to be your representative and ambassador.
At your service,
This is the full text of the statement Lary Coppola sent to the Port Orchard Independent:
While I'm disappointed in the results, I also strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and the universe has a better plan for me going forward. I'd like to thank the staff at the Auditor's office for their hard work and dedication to making this process work.
I'd also like to thank our staff for their support over these past four years, for their dedication to our City, and to the vision I outlined in 2008. We have a lot to be proud of: Assembling what is commonly acknowledged by the other elected officials in this county as the very best, most talented staff of any City; Moving our City from spending reserves to meet payroll to creating reserves in the worst economy since the great depression; Bringing the City back into compliance with the Growth Management Act; Bringing a business-friendly, can-do attitude to City Hall; and finally, reducing crime — and more importantly violent crime - significantly. Port Orchard is now a a safer place to live, work, own a business and raise your family, then any time in more than a quarter of a century.
We took the high road throughout and ran a clean campaign based on the issues. Unfortunately, when my political opponents realized they couldn't attack our record of solid, positive accomplishments, they resorted to attacking my personal integrity and character using a series of blatant lies, half-truths, and innuendo - and enough voters bought into it to make the small difference. Such is the nature of politics.
Serving has been both a true honor and a personal pleasure. I want to express a heartfelt "Thank You" to the downtown businesspeople who supported me, the organizations and other elected officials who endorsed me, and most of all, the voters who believed in me four years ago, believed in my vision for our City, and still believe in me now. I'm sincerely grateful to all of you.