Angel rethinks stepping down

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, who announced earlier this year she would not seek re-election in 2008, is now hedging about whether she will actually run for a third term.

“I haven’t changed my mind about not running,” she said. “But I’m not as certain about it as I was when I made the announcement.”

Angel said she is receiving “a lot of pressure” to seek another term.

With regard to planning and fundraising, she said the decision can be made no later than the beginning of 2008.

Angel, a Republican, was first elected in 2000 and won re-election in 2004. From 2003 to 2007 Angel, along with Republican Central Kitsap Commissioner Patty Lent and North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen, a Democrat, were the only all-female board of county commissioners in the state.

When Lent lost her re-election bid in 2006 and was replaced by Josh Brown, the collegial character of the board changed. Angel found herself in the minority and was frustrated her voice was not being heard.

She announced she would not run again in March, and a month later Endresen announced her intention to take a job with U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

By the time Endresen left office, she and Angel were barely on speaking terms, with Angel avoiding several scheduled send-off functions for Endresen.

With the appointment of Steve Bauer as North County commissioner in July, the board has become more cordial, and Angel feels she has increased input.

“Things have changed,” she said of the board. “We agree about pretty much everything now, and we all have respect for each other.”

Since Angel’s announcement, the only announced candidate is Democrat Monty Mahan, who has said he would not have declared if Angel was running.

Outgoing Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel has not decided whether to run. There are no declared Republican candidates.

Angel said the issues confronting the board, such as the budget, may persuade her to stay on.

“I need to make a decision by the end of the year,” she said. ”I will talk to my family and will pray about where I am supposed to be.”

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