Angel re-elected

Both incumbent Kitsap County commissioners up for won re-election this week — South Kitsap’s Jan Angel and North Kitsap’s Chris Endresen — won their challenges in Tuesday night’s general election.

Endresen defeated Kingston businessman Scott Henden by margin of 41,334 votes (52.47 percent) to 37,509 (47.53 percent). Angel prevailed over her predecessor on the board of commissioners, Charlotte Garrido, 41,334 (53.04 percent) to 36,653 (46.80 percent).

The numbers were current as of Thursday morning but were not expected to change significantly, according to director of elections Dolores Gilmore.

Democrat Endresen, the senior commissioner, earned a third term while Republican Angel begins her second term.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Patty Lent, a Republican, was first elected in 2002 and will face voters again in two years.

In a time where the makeup of the board usually changes every two years, the continuity resulting from four years of with no changes is rare. This, according to County Administrator Malcolm Fleming, is a good thing.

“It takes quite a while for people to learn the issues and all the players,” he said. “Right now, all of the commissioners are up to speed. We don’t have to spend any time in a learning process. Whenever you get someone new, it can take a while for the other board members to learn about how they approach things.”

This is seconded by local consultant William Palmer, himself a former director of the Department of Community Development. “With the exception of Chris Endresen, I felt that the commissioners have been struggling to get a grasp of how things work,” he said. “Now we can look forward to a time when all three commissioners have their feet on the ground. They’re running one of the bigger businesses in the county, and have given us a better-managed county courthouse.”

The tone of the two races differed, with the North Kitsap contest more heated. By contrast, the Angel/Garrido contest lacked such vitriol.

Said Garrido, “I was running as myself and with my range of skills. I don’t need to belittle anyone else.”

During the campaign, Endresen declined to address the attacks or mount a defensive strategy.

After the vote, however, she unleashed her frustration. “If the tables were turned, I would have made a statement against negative campaigning and publicly asked them to stop,” she said.

Henden responded by saying, “Both sides acted inappropriately,” while again disassociating himself from the anonymous attacks.

“If you have a difference with someone,” he said, “you should at least put your name on it.

“Life goes on. The voters have spoken,” Henden said. “We’re disappointed, because Kitsap needs a change. Chris has polarized a lot of people, and has made a lot of people unhappy.”

Henden doesn’t know if he will run again. Likewise, Garrido may also be unwilling to face the voters again anytime soon

“We had a really good organization, but we didn’t reach enough people,” she said. “During the campaign, I heard a lot of good ideas from citizens about how they can communicate and interact with their government. I’m just sad none of them will come to pass.”

Neither Angel nor Endresen has any shortage of ideas for their next term, however. Angel wants to expedite the Gorst cleanup and work toward modifying the Growth Management Act.

Endresen wants to provide support for the new Kingston passenger ferry, establish more parks and improve roads.

“I’m excited about my next term, and will use the accumulated knowledge of my last four years in order to do a good job,” Angel said.

Endresen also intends to benefit from her own seniority. “The more information and experience you have,” she said, “the more you understand how all the pieces fit together.”

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