Chamber cancels Candidates Forum for 6th Congressional District

Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce's Candidates Forum for the 6th Congressional District has been canceled.

The event, which was open to the public, was scheduled for Sept. 26 with Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) and Bill Driscoll (R-Tacoma).

But without specifying which candidate, Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce president Coreen Haydock said one was not available. She said it did not make sense to have a forum with only one candidate.

"It was kind of disappointing that we couldn't have our forum," Haydock said.

Driscoll and Kilmer are vying to succeed the retiring Norm Dicks, who has represented this district since 1976. Both candidates will have a formal debate from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Peninsula High School. That event is sponsored by the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

Locals still will have an opportunity to learn more about other politicians in Port Orchard. The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce will hosts a Candidates Forum beginning at 11:15 a.m. Oct. 11 at the Port Orchard Pavilion on Bay Street. That forum will focus on county commissioner races in South Kitsap and North Kitsap. The event, which is the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce's regular monthly luncheon, is $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

Incumbent Charlotte Garrido (D-Olalla) and Linda Simpson (R-Bremerton) are vying to be Kitsap County commissioner in District 2, which includes South Kitsap and much of West Bremerton.

"It's just an opportunity for members of the chamber and the community to learn a little more about the candidates that are out there," Haydock said.

In other Port Orchard Chamber of Chamber of Commerce news, its nominations for South Kitsap Man of the Year and Woman of the Year closed Wednesday.

Last year's recipients were former South Kitsap School District superintendent Dave LaRose and Sheila Cline, who long has been an advocate for those suffering from arthritis. She organized the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in December, which raised $48,887 for the Arthritis Foundation.

This will mark the 50th Man of the Year selection. The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce first honored Dr. Howard Minor in 1963. Harriet Norwood was the first Woman of the Year in 1982. Previous recipients of the award form a committee each year to review candidates for both Man and Woman of the Year and make a selection.

In 2008, the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce also began recognizing a South Kitsap Small Business of the Year when Custom Picture Framing won the award. Haydock said she added that category because several other chambers of commerce have similar ones. The criteria for that award are more stringent than the other two because there are more stipulations placed on it. To be eligible, a business cannot employee more than 30 full-time employees, it must be locally owned, privately held, be in good standing with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, engage in business activity within the community and not provide a member of the chamber's board of directors. The board, which consists of 15 members, selects the winner.

Olde Central Antique Mall won the award last year.

There will be a presentation for the latest trio of award winners Oct. 12 at McCormick Woods Golf Course's banquet room.

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