Powers prevails in close council contest

Port Orchard City Councilwoman Carolyn Powers was certified Thursday as the winner of the Nov. 3 election, after a recount showed no change in the final vote totals.

“I’m pleased at the outcome and I’m glad that the election has been decided,” Powers said. “I am happy to be re-elected, and am grateful for the support I received from the people of Port Orchard.”

Powers received a strong challenge from Port Orchard resident Cindy Lucarelli, who lost a similar close contest in 2007.

Powers was ahead since the first votes were counted, but her margin fluctuated from 9 to 22 votes. The final count showed her with 1,210 votes (49.88 percent) to 1,198 votes (49.38 percent) for Lucarelli--a difference of 12 votes and .5 percent.

This margin automatically triggered a machine recount. Numbers were unchanged since the Nov. 24 election certification.

Powers was first appointed to the council in 1988 and has prevailed in six elections.

During her next term, she hopes to help maintain Port Orchard’s small town flavor and work toward development of the downtown area--but not at the expense of other parts of the city.

Lucarelli said she was disappointed. She called the contest “a good campaign” and does not plan to request an additional recount.

“I will continue to do what I have been doing over the last few years,” Lucarelli said. “I intend to stay involved.”

Lucarelli has participated in several civic projects, most notably this summer’s Cedar Cove Days festival and last week’s movie premiere.

Powers has been a valuable member of the council, according to Planning Commissioner Gil Michael.

“By re-electing Carolyn the city has stayed connected to its history and retained its institutional knowledge,” he said. “The fact that the numbers stayed the same is a credit to the auditor’s office, and proves that the system works.”

Kitsap County Elections Supervisor Delores Gilmore said the contest included 289 “undervotes--” qualified ballots where the voter failed to state a preference in this race. There were also 18 write-ins, of which ten had no preferred name. Of the remaining eight, half were local citizens who were registered to vote in Port Orchard, while the rest were nonsense choices such as “Donald Duck.”

“Recent close elections have raised the public awareness,” Gilmore said. “People know that every vote counts.”

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