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Island candidates bat 4-6Don Bonker is still at the plate in the race for secretary of state.
"Bainbridge candidates went 4-for-6 at the plate Tuesday, with the number seven hitter still at bat.Voters returned Jay Inslee to Congress and Phil Rockefeller to the state House of Representatives, and likely placed two other islanders on the county's new board of freeholders.And Bainbridge may maintain its 20-year monopoly on the Washington secretary of state post, with Sunrise resident Don Bonker locked in a close race to succeed the island's favorite son, Ralph Munro. Bonker and Sam Reed, Thurston County auditor, await further absentee returns, with Bonker picking up a 4,000-vote lead Friday out of 1.6 million votes cast.Two other Bainbridge candidates, David Harrison and Dan Murphy, appeared to have failed in their bids for Olympia, pending further absentee counts next week. The results:Congress: First-term incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee easily bested longtime state legislator Dan McDonald of Kirkland, in the 1st Congressional District.Inslee earned 55 percent districtwide, 54 percent among Kitsap voters, in a swing district known of late for a series of particularly tight races.The outcome was exactly as desired, Inslee said Friday, pleased with the margin of victory. In holding the 1st District seat, Inslee was the first incumbent Democrat to do so in six decades. In his upcoming term, he vowed to continue working on campaign finance reform, banking privacy and pipeline safety.If people have good ideas, I want to hear 'em, he said.23rd District: Three incumbents got the nod from voters in local legislative and senate races.Bainbridge Island Democrat Phil Rockefeller easily outpaced challenger Phil Rasmussen of Poulsbo, earning 54 percent of the vote to hold the 23rd District, Position 1 legislative seat.Rockefeller said the challenges for the upcoming session include finding long-term funding for ferries and other transportation programs. Those challenges were eased, or at least not compounded, by voter rejection of I-745, which would have diverted 90 percent of transportation funding to road construction. Opponents said the measure would have further damaged local transit systems, still reeling after funds were lost to last year's I-695.I think maybe after 695, the reality has started to sink in for a lot of people - 'hey, what am I doing to myself?' Rockefeller said. Still, he said, spending mandates under two successful school-funding initiatives will give legislators less leeway.The initiatives are good policy, and they tell us that the voters care a great deal about public education, and that's great, Rockefeller said. But they're going to have a great impact on budgeting.Half-term incumbent Beverly Woods of Poulsbo, who was appointed to the Position 2 legislative seat last year to replace Karen Schmidt was narrowly outpacing challenger David Harrison of Bainbridge Island. Returns through Thursday showed Woods with 956-vote edge over Harrison, out of some 40,000 cast.Harrison left Thursday to vacation, but Karen Molinari, campaign manager, said she was not ready to concede defeat until more absentees are counted.In the 23rd District Senate race, Bremerton Democrat Betti Sheldon outpaced Republican Dan Murphy of Bainbridge Island, 55 to 42 percent, with a third-party candidate grabbing the balance.Kitsap County Commission: Incumbent Democrat Chris Endresen of Poulsbo will return to the three-person commission for a second four-year term. Endresen outpolled Kingston electrician Scott Henden, 53-47 percent. Priorities for the upcoming term, she said, include streamlining the county permitting process and better explaining the budget to constituents, both themes that came up during the campaign. She also hopes to see completion of cleanup of the old Vincent Road dump on Bainbridge.Somebody said, 'now you can finish all the things you started,' Endresen said. I said that'd be great, if we didn't get new stuff to do.Joining Endresen and Tim Botkin, who was not up for re-election Tuesday, will be South Kitsap businesswoman Jan Angel. She earned 51 percent of the vote against Democrat D.W. Dusty Wiley, a county public works employee and former commissioner who switched parties and defeated incumbent Charlotte Garrido in the primary.Home rule charter government: Kitsap voters narrowly approved formation of a board of freeholders for home rule, the drafting of a new charter government for Kitsap County.The new charter could change county government in any number of ways, adding members to the commission, making some positions non-partisan or appointed, or giving citizens the power of initiative.Whatever is drafted will have to be approved by Kitsap County voters in the future.Voters also selected 21 freeholders to draft the charter, seven from each commission district. While a number of absentee ballots remained to be counted, former city councilman Andy Maron and George McKinney, both of Bainbridge Island, appeared to have made the cut.Superior Court: Former Bainbridge resident Anna Laurie downed Ione Susan George to become the next Kistap County Superior Court judge. The Bremerton attorney earned 58 percent of the vote. "