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Chang leads Igloi-Matsuno, Powers vs. Lucarelli too close to call

Former Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel congratulates Fred Chang after his election to a second city council term.  - Charlie Bermant
Former Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel congratulates Fred Chang after his election to a second city council term.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

Incumbent Port Orchard City Councilman Fred Chang has apparently retained his seat after a challenge from local restaurateur Amy Igloi-Matsuno fell short.

The second vote count, released Wednesday afternoon, showed Chang with 54.03 percent (1,113 votes) to Igloi-Matsuno’s 45.49 percent (937 votes).

In another district, Port Orchard resident Cindy Lucarelli pulled closer to unseating a senior member of the council for the second consecutive election.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, her challenge to incumbent Carolyn Powers was too close to call.

Two other council members, Jerry Childs and Rob Putaansuu, ran unopposed.

Chang, 50, said he was “astounded and pleasantly surprised” by the vote, saying he expected to win but not by such a wide margin.

“I had a lot of good conversations with people during the campaign,” he said. “I didn’t know just how many. I felt that I had strong support, but I didn’t know how widespread it was.

Igloi-Matsuno, 28, was making her first run for public office.

She was rumored to have the tacit support of Mayor Lary Coppola, although the mayor was officially neutral in the race.

In a speech to supporters after the results were announced, Igloi-Matsuno did not concede the election, but said she was “hoping for the best.” However, it is rare for a candidate to overcome a 9 percentage point deficit.

“Nothing has changed for me,” Igloi-Matsuno said, “I still love Port Orchard, and believe in its potential. I will still be working on behalf of small business, and I will still go to Olympia in support of those issues.”

Chang was outspent in what was perhaps the most expensive race in Port Orchard City Council history, raising and spending $9,883.02 as opposed to Igloi-Matsuno’s $19,290.27, according to campaign disclosure records.

Chang said the funding imbalance “may have been a factor” in voter support.

The two candidates played to different constituencies, with Chang pushing for more open government and Igloi-Matsuno positioning herself as a small business advocate.

However, their messages were similar, and the four candidate forums demonstrated more agreement than discord about the future of Port Orchard.

Wednesday’s totals showed Powers just fourteen votes ahead of Lucarelli; 49.92 percent (988 votes) to 49.22 percent (974 votes).

The second posting narrowed the first margin considerably, where the candidates were 22 votes apart.

Powers, who took office in 1988, is the second-longest-serving council member.

In 2007, Lucarelli came within 49 votes of defeating the longest-serving member, John Clauson.

In that race, the first count showed a seven-vote margin, which grew into the final totals.

“This is great news,” Lucarelli said. “I thought some of the votes from the outlying areas would work in my favor. I still need a lot of good luck, but perhaps this will work out for me.”

Powers said she would have no comment until after all votes were counted.

The race could require a recount, which would delay final results for several weeks.

Any election with a margin of one-half percent, or 150 votes, will trigger a machine recount, while a manual recount results from a margin of one-quarter of a percent.

In either case, the recount would occur after the election’s certification on Nov. 24.

The next totals were due to be posted on Thursday afternoon at www.kitsapgov.org.

Coverage will continue on www.portorchardindependent.com

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