Second mayor candidate hits the race

Port Orchard got its second applicant for mayor Thursday.

Tom Saunders has lived in Port Orchard since 1982. He runs his own appraisal business, Saunders Appraisal, and has been an active member in the South Kitsap Kiwanis Club.

Saunders, 59, grew up in Bremerton and worked for a number of different housing organizations, with 36 years of appraisal experience.

He previously worked for Housing Urban Development and as a housing director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). After working for FEMA, Saunders returned to Kitsap County, living in Bremerton for one year before settling in Port Orchard.

Saunders said Port Orchard has been in limbo for a number of years and said he wants to see it grow. He said he would like downtown to develop, but said he mainly wants to learn what residents want for the area.

"I really want to find out what the people want and we we can do for downtown," Saunders said Thursday.

He said he will kick off his campaign doorbelling the community and meeting with residents.

"I'm kind of a low-key person," Saunders said.

Thus far, the only other candidate in the race is Lary Coppola, who began his campaign in May.

Openings on the city council have seen little action since filing opened Monday. Rita DiIenno and John Clauson have filed since Monday afternoon. As of Thursday afternoon, each candidate for council ran unopposed, with the exception of position four where incumbent John Clauson will run against newcomer Cindy Lucarelli.

In the South Kitsap School District, incumbents Keith Garton and Patty Henderson have both filed, along with newcomer Jay Rosapepe.

Patty Henderson recently moved into district one, where Robert Bunker holds the position, however Bunker announced Wednesday that he will not seek another term on the school board.

Bunker said he is following up on a career opportunity and will not be able to commit to the schools.

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