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Angel to challenge Lantz

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel will challenge incumbent State Rep. Pat Lantz (D-Gig Harbor) for the 26th District Legislative seat that Lantz has occupied since 1997.

“We have an achievement gap in our current education system, public safety is at risk with offenders being released early into our communities and people are being taxed out of their homes,” said Angel in a prepared statement. “This is simply unacceptable. We need people in Olympia who understand the issues and can offer positive solutions, not business as usual. My experience on the county commission and in the private sector prepared me well for this next step.”

Angel, 61, announced in April she would not run for a third term as county commissioner, but recently hinted she would reverse that decision.

Following speculation she would challenge first-term 26th District Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor) Angel, said she chose to run for Lantz’ seat “because I heard from several sources that she was going to retire.” However, she said Lantz’s presence in the race was not a strong factor in the decision.

“If she does run, I will take her on,” Angel said.

Lantz, 70, said Monday she plans to run for a sixth term, saying, “I welcome the opportunity to discuss my record. I have worked extremely hard and with great focus and dedication for South Kitsap and have delivered big time. Over the past 10 years, I have been there for the education community.”

Of Angel, Lantz said, “We have always gotten along well. I don’t remember us ever tangling. We have worked together for South Kitsap’s common interests.”

Angel, a popular county commissioner, expects to receive support from her local constituents.

“If she were in the Legislature, Jan would represent our interests,” said Dick Brown of Port Orchard. “If she runs against Pat Lantz, she will provide us with a breath of fresh air in our leadership. South Kitsap would finally get some quality representation in the Legislature.”

Angel has lived in South Kitsap for 25 years and was elected to her first term as commissioner in 2000.

She participated in a Friendship Delegation to China with Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, is a founding member of the Kitsap International Trade Council, serves on the board of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, the board of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and is past president of the Western District of the Washington State Association of Counties.

She also serves on the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council (past chair), the CENCOM 911 Policy Board (past chair), the County Emergency Management Board (past chair), Kitsap County Health District Board (2007 chair), Kitsap Transit, and will be serving as the 2008 chair of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority.

She owns the Internet domain for her own name, www.janangel.com, but the Web site still contains information from her last commissioners’ race in 2004.

She said the site would be updated to reflect the new campaign in the near future.

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