‘Old Guard,’ newcomers split difference

The results of Tuesday’s election will add two new faces to the Port Orchard City Council come January, while preserving the long tenure of two others.

Incumbents Carolyn Powers and Bob Geiger were re-elected Tuesday, while Fred Chang defeated Leslie “Jay” Weatherill, former mayor of Port Orchard and political newcomer Tye Moore overcame Melode Sapp for the Council’s third position with 58 percent of the vote compared to Sapp’s 42 percent.

With 61 percent of the vote, Powers beat Dennis Xavier Goss, who had just 39 percent.

Geiger took 54 percent of the vote compared to opponent Gil Michael’s 45 percent.

“We ran the campaign on the issues,” Michael said. “We tried to stay focused on the issues. The doorbelling and the forums pretty much crystallized what the issues are. People want annexation, they want downtown revitalization and they want a more open council. They don’t like the behind-the-doors politics and they don’t like dirty campaigning.”

“There’s a lot of things that need to be done, and I’m looking forward to getting them done,” Michael said, despite his loss.

He said he will continue to make the Port Orchard Planning Commission, of which he is chair, his political home.

Chang took 60 percent of the vote to Weatherill’s 40 percent, despite being on the receiving end of some negative campaigning.

“Thanks you for all the support,” Chang said after the results were announced. “I’m really excited. I’ll need your extended support for the upcoming council.”

Chang’s supporters gathered at his home on Sidney Avenue on Tuesday night to hear and celebrate the results. No one was surprised by Chang’s victory.

“I’ve seen him in action,” said longtime friend George Hernandez. “He’s terrific. More people should get the opportunity to see what a dynamo he can be.”

“He has a very unique ability to approach things from a very neutral and analytical viewpoint,” said Grace Hawkins, another friend of Chang’s. “He doesn’t form his opinions hastily.”

Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel also stopped by to congratulate Chang.

“It’s been several years since the city has seen two new council members,” Abel said. “We’re going to get some fresh perspectives and fresh ideas, and I look forward to working with both Fred (Chang) and Tye (Moore).”

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