Dems meet to select Endresen replacement

Kitsap County Democrats took the first public step toward replacing

resigning North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen, in a meeting where

11 candidates attempted to persuade 69 precinct committee officers

(PCOs) that they were the best equipped to serve.

The meeting was held in the Poulsbo Library on Thursday night.

"I am impressed by the quality of all the candidates," said PCO Bob

Dietz of Bremerton. "Some significant issues are being addressed and

it will help to focus our decision on June 18."

At that time the 97 PCOs will select three names which will be passed

to the remaining county commissioners, who will then select one to

fill the remainder of Endresen's term. All of the candidates pledged

they would run for a full term in 2008 aside from County Planner James

Weaver, who said "I will only run if it is in the best interest of the

party. "

Party loyalty is an important part of this selection process. While

County Treasurer Barbara Stepehenson warned that "the Democratic Party

can't risk losing this seat to the other side a year from now," the

party has the rare opportunity to select a commissioner without the

input of the voting public.

Aside from Stephenson and Weaver the candidates were Steven Bauer,

Robert Gelder, Alfonso Grajeda, Clarence Moriwaki, Tom Nevins, Lynn

Nordby, Dennis Sexton, Ed Stern and Chris Van Dyk.

The forum demanded short answers to complicated questions, but served

the purpose of introducing the candidates to those who will make the

selection. Topics included NASCAR (all but Grajeda were opposed) city

charters (divided, with a majority favoring more commissioner seats),

and Silverdale's incorporation

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