Jackley eager to get back in the fight

Manchester resident Brock Jackley’s life reflects his versatility.

At 56, Jackley has been a student, an athlete, a soldier, a family man, a business and property owner and community college instructor. However, it’s his latest endeavor, politics, he said he finds most fulfilling.

“I’m running for public office to do something, not to be something,” Jackley said. “I decided to go into politics because I see a tremendous need.”

In 1998, Jackley, who had recently retired after 22 years of teaching physical education at Olympic Community College, was asked to consider running for a spot in the Washington State House of Representatives representing the 26th District.

He ran and he won.

With no prior political experience, Jackley said he prides himself on what he was able to accomplish in Olympia. He said feels his experience in the state Legislature has given him unique insight into the role of a county commissioner.

“In Olympia, I made very, very hard decisions,” Jackley said. “Being able to make hard decisions in a very decisive manner is important.”

Jackley said he feels the committees he served on in Olympia have given him valuable connections that could be used at the county level to get things done.

“I feel I could be very effective at this level,” Jackley said. “I feel I could meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Jackley also said he is confident in his ability to represent the whole of Kitsap.

“I think that I can represent all of Kitsap, all constituencies,” Jackley said. “In Olympia, we called it ‘walking both sides of the aisle.’ The goal is to resolve issues and move things forward.”

As a state representative, Jackley served on the Natural Resources, Trade and Economic Development and Transportation committees.

After he lost his 2002 re-election bid to Republican Lois McMahan, Jackley said he began to focus on how he could meet the needs of the county he’s lived in for more than 30 years.

“I was planning on running again for the House, but I had been asked to consider the county commissioner’s race,” Jackley said. “After meeting with people in Olympia, I decided the county commissioner’s race was what I wanted.”

Jackley is fiercely passionate about one issue in particular; he mentions it several times over the course of an hour. It is an issue he worked extensively on at the state level and one that will change the face of Kitsap County forever — the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

“Over the next four, five, six years, Kitsap County is going to be affected by the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge,” Jackley said. “The population of the county will change. The transportation issues that plague the county will become more complex.”

According to Jackley, 50 percent of the workers in Kitsap commute out of the county every day. While in Olympia, Jackley co-sponsored a bill that converted the project’s financing and he pledges to continue to work on behalf of the county’s interests.

“I was able to work with others to convert the financing from a private company to a public-private partnership, saving the taxpayers $880 million,” Jackley said.

Jackley, like others, is also concerned about the county’s economic future. “The County has no economic diversity,” he said. “It needs a base.”

According to Jackley, there is a series of things the county must do to improve its economic development, including looking into capital project money from Olympia to build an economic infrastructure.

“If we build the infrastructure, business will come,” Jackley said.

Jackley said he is also looking to improve county transportation, safety and water rights.

“Water rights are going to be a big issue,” Jackley said. “We need clean water for our economic development. It’s going to take a multi-faceted approach.”

Jackley said he can accomplish things other candidates might not be able to due to the nature of his bi-partisan support.

“I have Democratic as well as Republican supporters,” Jackley said. “I would challenge my opponents to say the same and produce them in number. I consider myself a true centrist. I’m a Democrat. I’m a small business owner. I have a master’s degree in education. You have to be a centrist.

“If you polarize groups of people, government grinds to a halt,” Jackley said. “You have to have a true appreciation of others’ point of view.”

Jackley said he is very concerned about the well-being of families in Kitsap County.

“Being in the pawn business, you see people struggling every day,” Jackley said. “I see families struggling. My No. 1 priority is that families be taken care of. I’ve been on the poor side of life.”

Jackley is married and has four children — three daughters and one son. Three are still in Kitsap County public schools.

“Kitsap’s a great county to live in,” Jackley said. “I have a 7-year-old and I want him to do well. I want everyone’s kids to do well.”

Originally from Oregon, Jackley graduated from the University of Idaho, where he played football and ran on the track team. After a short stint as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, Jackley went back for his master’s degree in education. He has owned Dave’s Loans and Guns since 1978 and also owns several commercial properties.

Jackley is heavily involved in the community, currently affiliated, some professionally, some personally, with at least 10 local organizations.

“We feel that because the community has been so good to us, we should give back,” Jackley said.

“I really and truly believe in my mind and in my heart that I’m the best candidate for county commissioner,” Jackley said. “We have to be poised for the future. We have to build consensus and move things forward.”

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