News

Election filing begins Monday

Beginning Monday, the election race hits full swing as the Kitsap County Auditor begins accepting applications for a number of open positions.

Curious, but not openly vocal, parties attended an informational meeting at the Port Orchard City Hall last week to hear from Kitsap County staff and previous electoral candidates on the particulars of running a campaign.

After the meeting, several gathered around to talk about what they learned, but few came forward with any actual plans to run for the various open positions.

Port Orchard resident Cindy Lucarelli said she and other residents came to keep abreast on City Hall news.

“It has a lot to do with finding out what’s going on,” Lucarelli said.

Below read about each electoral race:

•CITY COUNCIL

Typically, this is the year four out of seven of the city council seats would be open for election. However, following the conviction of councilman Tye Moore and the appointment of Robert Putaansuu, all but two of the seats are open. Putaansuu must run for the remaining two years of his seat. The four-year seats held by John Clauson, Rita DiIenno and Rick Wyatt and the two-year, at-large seat held by Robert Geiger are all up for grabs.

So far Putaansuu, DiIenno, Clauson and Wyatt have said they would seek another term on the council. Geiger said he will not seek another term, capping his 40-year career on the council. However, in the 2003 election he also said he would not run again, only to submit his application at the end of filing week.

Several residents living in the neighborhood lining Bay Street attended the informational election meeting, but none announced any concrete plans to run. At time of press, only incumbents of the Port Orchard City Council had announced that they would file.

At public comment sessions on the Downtown Overlay District, downtown resident Kathy Michael said the outcome of the DOD would decide the November election.

“This November will be a referendum on your decision,” Michael said in February.

Lucarelli said the downtown residents attended the meeting to keep abreast on the election and stay involved in the revitalization of downtown.

“You can’t really have a say if you’re not involved,” Lucarelli said. “As a neighborhood, we can hugely affect the downtown.”

•SCHOOLS

The schools also face a big year in the election, guaranteeing at least one new face on the bench. Board President Patty Henderson moved to another district during her last term, pushing her into the same legislative district as board member Robert Bunker.

Henderson said she plans to run for the seat, and, if Bunker applies, two incumbents would face each other this November.

•MAYOR

The race for Mayor of Port Orchard has remained quiet, with only one candidate announcing any plans to run. Lary Coppola, editor at the Kitsap Business Journal and planning commissioner at Kitsap County, began his campaign in April, and has already started door-belling and taking out advertisements for his race.

Rumors indicated that Councilman Rick Wyatt would consider the position, and despite his stated desire to run for the position, he opted to remain on the City Council while it tackles a number of major issues, including the Downtown Overlay District and the expansion of Tremont Street.

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