SK Commissioner candidate withdraws

An independent candidate for South Kitsap Commissioner has withdrawn from the race, two days before the primary where he would most likely receive a fraction of the vote.

“It was a great experience,” said Paul Nuchims, in an e-mail to his opponents on Sunday morning. ”I learned a lot. I trust the 1 percent of the vote that I receive is not resented by you. Consider it a protest to the inanity of the political rhetoric that continues in the media as I write this.”

Nuchims was running against Charlotte Garrido, Monty Mahan and Tim Matthes to replace Jan Angel, who is seeking a seat in the legislature. His announcement is unlikely to change the vote totals, as many voters have already cast their ballots in the all-mail election.

After Tuesday, the top two vote getters will advance to the Nov. 4 general election. From the time he announced his candidacy Nuchims said he did not expect to win, but only wanted to raise awareness of certain issues. To this end, he participated in several candidate forums and attended county commissioner meetings.

The issues Nuchims raised included the limiting of redundancy and waste in our county government, the need to become a charter county, the development of bike lanes and drawing “a great university" to the region.

Nuchims’ opponents acknowledged his right to be in the race, but didn't see him as a serious competitor. After attending a forum Matthes noted “a lot of the discussion was to bring him up to speed. And his goals include the things that we’re already doing.”

Mahan said he thought Nuchims would be more effective as the head of a special interest group, saying “Paul has the right to run. But every vote he gets takes away from someone who really wants the job.”

Less accommodating was Columnist Adele Ferguson, who greeted Nuchims with a "who the hell are you?" when he arrived late at a candidate forum. Nuchims, in turn, responded with the same invective.

 Nuchims entered the race as a Democrat, but switched to Independent after he failed to gain a single vote at the county nomination convention in May. He then held several issue-oriented forums at his Port Orchard gallery, of which two of his opponents attended. (Mahan declined to attend the forums but met privately with Nuchims to discuss the issues.)

Nuchims, 73, has lived in Kitsap County for about three years. He previously lived in Bellingham and West Virginia, during which time he ran as both a Democrat and a Republican in several statewide races.

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