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Coppola withdraws from state Senate race

Local publisher Lary Coppola announced Friday that he has withdrawn from the 26th District Senate race in favor of supporting state Representative Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) who is currently vying, along with former Representative Lois McMahan, for the seat left vacant by Senator Bob Oke (R-Port Orchard).

Oke announced his retirement at the end of the 2006 legislative session. Coppola originally announced his intention to seek the seat last year.

“Several months ago, I had a friendly conversation over lunch with (Kilmer),” Coppola said. “During that conversation, Derek indicated he was considering switching from the House and running for the Senate. I gave him my word at that time, if he made the decision to do so, that I would step aside and would support him in his bid for the seat.

“I gave Derek my word that if he ran, he would have my full support. Therefore, I’m asking all of the people who were kind enough to support me, to get behind Derek as well.”

Coppola said he changed his mind because Kilmer’s views are similar to his own and he didn’t want to run a parallel campaign.

“Derek’s views are very similar to mine where economic development, job creation, growth, affordable housing, and spending issues are concerned,” Coppola said. “We also agree on most major social issues. There is simply no point in running parallel campaigns when we are so closely aligned in our thinking. I have great respect for the job Derek did in the House, and have confidence in his ability to continue representing the 26 th District in a manner that will give our issues the attention they deserve in Olympia.”

Coppola is the publisher of the Kitsap Business Journal. He ended his announcement by thanking “all of the people — from both parties — who so strongly encouraged me to run, who believe in me, and were so willing to openly support me as early as they did. It took a lot of courage in some cases for certain individuals to do that. I owe each and every one of those people a sincere debt of gratitude.”

Since Kilmer’s announcement, two individuals, Trent England, a Republican from Bremerton, and Larry Seaquist, a Democrat from Gig Harbor, have announced they will run for his House seat. South Kitsap Republican Ron Boehme has yet to decide whether to run against England and Seaquist for Kilmer’s seat or Beckie Krantz, a Republican from Gig Harbor, for Kilmer’s fellow 26 th District Representative Pat Lantz’s (D-Gig Harbor).

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