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Favorites prevail in primary races

There were few surprises in Tuesday’s primary election in Kitsap County government as frontrunners Scott Henden and Charlotte Garrido won their bids to face incumbent county commissioner candidates Chris Endresen and Jan Angel.

It was also no surprise that Judge Anna Laurie was able to earn a plurality, but her earning more than 50 percent of the vote was not a foregone conclusion.

Laurie, the only Kitsap County Superior Court judge not running unopposed, came under fire for a controversial ruling two years ago in which she convicted a Bremerton man of second-degree assault after he had shot and killed a Bremerton police dog and aimed his wea-pon at the dog’s handler.

In the end, Laurie dispatched her primary opposition by a wide enough margin to avoid a November runoff (earning 54.45 percent of the preliminary total).

Laurie received several key endorsements, including support from Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge (who took severe umbrage against the 2002 ruling).

Hauge said he had “no idea” whether his opinion influenced any primary voters.

While Hauge’s support of Laurie was tacit and last-minute, he has taken a more active role in his support of Garrido’s race against Angel.

“I know Charlotte, I worked with her before during her last term as commissioner,” he said. “She would do a good job. I know her policies and respect her abilities. This is nothing against Commissioner Angel, this is just my preference.”

In Hauge’s eyes, there are differences that have little to do with policy or personality.

“Charlotte is a Democrat,” Hauge said. “Jan is a Republican.”

Laurie said the primary was fraught with “a lot of emotional energy and misinformation.”

While she was referring to her own race, there was quite a bit of nastiness aimed at Endresen, including a “Fire Endresen” cannon and a debateably sourced Web site.

Henden disavowed any active connection with the site or its sponsor, Michael Svardh.

Henden said he intends to focus on the issues and will not indulge in any negative campaigning. He said he is not receiving any funds from Svardh.

In South Kitsap, where incumbent Commissioner Jan Angel faced no primary opposition, Garrido beat former State Rep. Brock Jackley by nine percentage points.

Jackley blamed low voter turnout for his defeat, and said confusion about the ballot scared many of those who would have voted his way.

Jackley said he will not take an active part in the Garrido campaign beyond casing his own vote. Cleverley, however, said he will offer his support to Henden as needed.

Final results are due for certification on Sept. 24.

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