Danielson low-key, taking high road

Bruce Danielson with wife Kristine and daughter Lota. - Kaitlin Strohschein photo
Bruce Danielson with wife Kristine and daughter Lota.
— image credit: Kaitlin Strohschein photo

Bruce Danielson, having run twice unsuccessfully for Superior Court judge in 2004 and 2008, has set his sights this year on the job of Kitsap County prosecutor.

Not that he’d be devastated if he came up short again.

“My ego’s not too invested in this,” he said.

Danielson said he decided to run because a lot of people told him they wanted to see changes in the Prosecutor’s Office.

“You get fresh eyes. Fresh ways of looking at problems,” he said, adding that new, creative solutions are especially important in a “budget-conscious time.”

One of the main changes Danielson proposes would undo what he calls “blackmail charging.”

He suggests that alleged criminals are initially undercharged, and then face excessive charges if they don’t agree to a plea deal, and he calls this system “pretty unfair for the defendant.

“Let them know from the beginning what they’re facing,” Danielson said, “and then you can add or drop as the facts warrant.”

Danielson also claims that some of his proposed revisions would bring greater transparency to the Prosecutor’s Office.

He claims he’s “open, honest and accessible,” regardless of whether or not it’s a political season, and he says he’ll bring that same spirit to his office if he’s elected.

As evidence, he cites the fact that his phone number address are listed in local public directories.

Danielson’s opponent, Russ Hauge, the incumbent Kitsap prosecutor, has also claimed that he’s brought transparency to the office by keeping more careful track of prosecutor’s cases.

Hauge questions Danielson’s qualifications to be Kitsap County prosecutor, but the challenger says his legal résumé more than stacks up.

Danielson has been practicing law in Washington since 1984, and says he takes cases from “all over the world” and works on them from his home office.

He also has a shell office in Seattle near the King County Courthouse.

These days, Danielson takes exclusively civil, rather than criminal, cases.

Although he’s been practicing in the state for much longer, Danielson didn’t actually move to Washington until 1997.

He grew up near Wichita, Kan., on land his family had used to raise wheat, alfalfa, cattle and horses since 1874, and he still keeps three chickens, and two dogs at his small, brown rambler.

Following high school, Danielson decided not to go to college, but later changed his mind when he was denied a couple of promotions at his retail job.

He attended Wichata State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree psychology with a minor in business in three and a half years while working full time.

Several years after getting his undergraduate degree, he got a law degree from the University of Kansas.

He decided to move to Washington to be live near his wife Kris’ family, which has owned land on Hood Canal since the 1930s.

Today, Bruce, Kris and their 10-year-old daughter Lota live in Port Orchard, near Long Lake in Kitsap County.

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