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State Sen. Derek Kilmer announces he will seek re-election

Twenty-sixth District State Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) announced on Monday he will run for re-election to the Washington State Senate.

Kilmer, finishing up his first term, was promptly endorsed by U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Belfair), who said, “Derek is a problem-solving leader, focused on serving his community every day. Derek is sharply focused on growing our economy and creating family-wage jobs in our area. I strongly support his re-election campaign.”

Kilmer was also endorsed in his 2010 re-election campaign by Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and Gig Harbor Mayor Chuck Hunter and by a majority of the city council members in all three cities he represents.

In Port Orchard, Kilmer was backed by Councilmembers John Clauson, Fred Chang, Jerry Childs, Jim Colebank, Carolyn Powers and Rob Putaansuu.

Kilmer’s re-election was also endorsed by Kitsap County Prosecutor Russell Hauge, Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer and all three Kitsap County commissioners.

In addition, each of the firefighter locals in the area – including South Kitsap Firefighters IAFF Local 2876 – endorsed Kilmer’s campaign.

Kilmer was first elected in 2004 to the State House of Representatives.

In 2006, Kilmer won the State Senate seat previously held by retiring Sen. Bob Oke.

As a state senator, Kilmer lists his accomplishments as:

• improving infrastructure to revitalize downtown Bremerton and helping assure construction of a new hospital in Gig Harbor;

• reducing personal property taxes for small businesses;

• helping to keep Narrows Bridge tolls down;

• creating new scholarships to help students pay for college;

• championing the effort to provide new programs in nursing and engineering for students in our region; and,

• helping veteran-owned businesses get state contracts.

In the Senate, Kilmer is a member of the Transportation Committee, the Economic Development, Trade, and Innovation Committee, and is the chair of the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee.

He also serves on the Joint Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Legislative Advisory Committee, and on the Board of the Washington State History Museum.

“We have more to do to get our region out of this recession,” he said. “I’ve always believed the turnaround happens by creating jobs – not raising taxes. I’ve worked to create jobs in the private sector and I’m ready to keep that as my focus as state senator.”

For his efforts, Kilmer has been named Legislative Leader of the Year three times by the Washington Economic Development Association and received the Business Star Award from Washington’s Business Institute.

When not in Olympia, Kilmer serves as vice president for the Economic Development Board (EDB) for Tacoma-Pierce County.

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