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Danielson(s) runs again

Kristine Danielson is running as a conservative with no party affiliation.  - Brett Cihon
Kristine Danielson is running as a conservative with no party affiliation.
— image credit: Brett Cihon

Kristine Danielson understands why she is known as a perennial candidate. She also understands why her husband, Bruce, is known as a perennial candidate.

But Danielson, who is running for District 2 County Commissioner, said the murmurings she hears about her and her husband “just running for the glory” or “looking for a job” couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Bruce and I always get coined perennial candidates,” Danielson said. “But running isn’t something I like to do. It’s something I want and I need to do to make a difference.”

Danielson will face-off against current commissioner Charlotte Garrido, former Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola and Linda Simpson in the primary election Aug. 7. She has previously run for Kitsap County Auditor in 2006 and for 26th District Washington state Senate seat, losing both contests.

Bruce Danielson, a Port Orchard lawyer, is vying for a spot as supreme court justice position 8. He has previously run twice for Kitsap County Superior Court Judge and once for Kitsap County Prosecutor, losing those contests.

“People think, ‘Oh, here come the Danielsons again,” she said. “But it’s time for fresh voices.”

Danielson has lived in Port Orchard since 1997. A self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, she has worked in the retail clerks’ union, has a real estate license, retired as President of Industrial Properties, Inc., and also has a certificate in nursing, she said.

Taking a pause before looking for work as a nurse, Danielson said thinking of her 12-year-old daughter, Lepa, was one of the main reasons she decided to run for county commissioner. She wanted to make the county a better and more enticing place for her daughter to live once she is older, Danielson said.

“The driving factor is my daughter,” Danielson said. “We want this county to thrive and get better for her.”

Danielson’s decision to run for county commissioner has come, in part, because she doesn’t believe the Kitsap County residents have been adequately represented. The leaders of the county have been stuck in their ways, she said, and often times don’t think outside of the box when it comes to budget or staffing issues.

Listed as a conservative with no party affiliation, Danielson said she would focus more on reduction rather than increasing county revenue, if she was elected commissioner. Looking through the county’s general budget, she said what stood out to her was how much money the county spends on salaries and benefits.

While working on the South Kitsap School District’s instructional materials committee and on the Kitsap County Human Rights council, Danielson said she frequently advocated for reduction in money doled out by the county. Advocacy for reducing county spending hasn’t always won her friends, but that revenue finding and spending isn’t at the core of government’s job, she said.

“Everybody is always trying to get the biggest piece of the pie, no matter how overweight we are,” she said. “We need to go back to the basics of county spending.”

Danielson previously said that her main campaign issues would be reducing the size of government, economics and education. In 2006, Danielson ran as a Republican, only because a party affiliation was required to run. Now that affiliation is no longer required, she doesn’t feel strongly about either party and said party politics “has gotten unbearable.”

A nasty campaign season isn’t in her plans. Danielson said she thought highly of all her opponents and that they could all bring certain assets to the county office. If she is not voted in by the people, again, she said running for office is a way of opening up more ideas to a county that has been stagnant for too long.

“My goal is to make a difference,” she said. “I might not win, but I will put some ideas out there that will get people talking.”

 

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