ELECTION 2013 | Light ballot for Aug. 6 primary election

Local voters must have their ballots postmarked Aug. 6 or returned to the drop box by 8 p.m. for this years’ primary election. Ballots also can be returned to Kitsap County Auditor’s Office, 619 Division St., during business hours.

Mail-in ballot were sent out July 19.

Locally, this year’s primary is light with  a Port Orchard city council race and West Sound Utility District position. The top two vote-getters in each race advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman said that while odd-year elections normally have lower turnout due to a lack of attention-grabbing statewide, legislative or federal races, they still matter.

“Local races can impact our daily lives significantly,” Wyman said. “I encourage voters to study the races and take a few minutes to fill out and return their ballot by Election Day.”

State election officials are predicting about a 30 percent voter turnout — the same as in 2009 and 2011 primary elections.

Three vying for at-large seat

In Port Orchard, the at-large council seat — a two-year-term — is up for grabs as two newcomers face incumbent Jerry Childs. Childs is challenged by Eric Gonnason and Jeff Braden, who announced he would not actively seek the position.

Childs, who was first elected to the seat in 2007, is in his third term.

The former Seattle firefighter serves on the city’s Finance Committee, chairs the city’s Economic Development/Tourism Committee and Waterfront Planning Committee.

Gonnason, who is seeking his first political office since moving to Port Orchard in 2011, stated in the Voters’ Pamphlet that he worked 28 years as a engineering analyst in the aerospace and defense industry.

He stated he has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Arizona in 2001.

Braden wrote to the Public Disclosure Committee officials that he would not “actively seek office or serve on the City Council, because the PDC reporting requirements of listing each stock, number of shares, etc., were too onerous for him.”

Commissioners, newcomer seek single seat

The West Sound Utility District will shrink from a four- to three-commissioner board after the Nov. 5 general election, forcing two incumbent commissioners to face each other in the primary.

Incumbents Jenny Screws and James Jay Hart, along with newcomer Kevin Long, face off as the top two go head-to-head in November.

Screws was a commissioner for the Annapolis Water District from 2001 to 2005, and a West Sound UD commissioner since 2008. Karcher Creek Sewer District and Annapolis Water District merged in 2007 to form the West Sound UD.

Hart, who was a commissioner on both the sewer and water district board, was instrumental in the two district merging. He has been a West Sound UD commissioner for six years.

Long, a retired Navy officer, worked for West Sound UD for 18 years, including as a water distribution manager and water distribution specialist.

Nondecisive primary in 26th District race

The 26th District state Senate race is one of the three special races in the state.

State Rep. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard) and Sen. Nathan Schlicher (D-Gig Harbor) are both seeking the district senate seat, but under state law are required to be on the primary ballot.

State law requires all two-candidate partisan races to be on the primary ballot. Neither candidate has an opponent in their respective party primary races — only maybe a handful of write-in candidates.

The winner of the November general election will fill out the remaining term left by Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor), who is now the U.S. representative for the Sixth Congressional District. Angel or Schlicher would have to run again in 2014 for a four-year term.

Angel has been in the House of Representatives since 2008 and Schlicher was appointed to the 26th District state Senate seat in January, replacing Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor), who is now the U.S. representative for the Sixth Congressional District.

The 26th District includes parts of Kitsap and Pierce counties.


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