Fall elections draw little interest

As election years go, this one figures to be quiet on Bainbridge Island, at least until November.

Incumbent Congressman Jay Inslee has, at least nominally, drawn a Democratic opponent, meaning he won’t officially have the party’s nomination in Washington’s First Congressional District until after the Sept. 17 primary.

But his opponent – a Lynwood political gadfly who has legally named himself Mike the Mover – doesn’t figure to make much of a dent against the well-funded Bainbridge Island resident.

The Mover is, if nothing else, a familiar name on area ballots. He ran for the Senate in 1998 as a Reform Party candidate, and actually won that party’s nomination, although his pro-marijuana platform drew less than 1 percent of the vote.

He ran for mayor of Seattle in 1997, notwithstanding the fact that he apparently did not live there, and ran for state lands commissioner in 2000.

Inslee has also drawn two other opponents. Former Mukilteo state legislator Joe Marine, whose road signs have popped up around the island and Kitsap County, will carry the Republican banner, and Mark Wilson of Suquamish has filed as a Libertarian.

Marine’s tenure in the state legislature was short but significant.

He had been appointed to fill a vacancy in the state legislature from Snohomish County, and had to face the voters last year in a special election.

His loss gave the Democrats a one-vote margin in the State House of Representatives, breaking a 49-49 tie.

Two-term incumbent Inslee has a huge lead in money raised, and national commentators suggest that the Republican Party no longer views him as among the more vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

On the state level, the candidate filing period last week produced one new development, as Terrell Ducheane, a property manager from Bremerton, became the second Democrat seeking to challenge Rep. Beverly Woods, (R-Poulsbo), in the 23d legislative District that encompasses Bainbridge Island and includes northern portions of Kitsap County.

“The state of the state has prompted me to run,” Ducheane said. “We keep spending money we don’t have, and there doesn’t seem to be any end to it.”

Ducheane’s primary opponent will be former Poulsbo City Council member Sherry Appleton, who has the backing of the county Democratic Party.

In the other 23d District race, Bremerton auto dealer Don Large is the only Republican who signed on to challenge incumbent Democrat Phil Rockefeller of Bainbridge Island, who faces no intra-party opposition.

County seats

The action dwindles farther down the ballot, as only a handful of the Kitsap County elected positions up for grabs this year will have contested races.

And of those that will, only two candidates are running for the position in question.

In a minor surprise, Bremerton City Councilman Ed Rollman filed to run for Kitsap County Coroner on Friday afternoon. Rollman, a Democrat, will face Republican incumbent Greg Sandstrom in November.

Rollman was elected to the Bremerton City Council in 1999 and, if elected coroner, would leave his city post one year early.

The remaining contested races aren’t surprises.

Kitsap County Commissioner Tim Botkin, a first-term incumbent Democrat, will vie this fall for the Central Kitsap seat. He will be the only Democrat to run, according to candidate filing records.

Only Republican Patty Lent, of Bremerton, has registered to run for the county commissioners’ seat. Lent, a Silverdale travel consultant, is somewhat a political novice, but she’s not without campaign experience.

Lent advocated for the incorporation of SeaTac in the mid 1980s and volunteered to work on several school levies. Lent also served on a rezoning board for two years.

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s race also still has two contenders.

Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer, a first-term Democratic incumbent will have an opponent this fall in William Johnston of Bremerton. Johnston registered on July 23 with the county as a Libertarian.

Two Democrats are vying for the county treasurer post.

Former Poulsbo city accounting manager Paulette Alvarado has filed to run for county treasurer, a position to be vacated by Sharon Shrader, who is retiring at the end of the year. She will face Barbara Stephenson, also of Poulsbo, who has served over the past decade as executive director of the United Way of Kitsap County.

In the uncontested races, incumbents are running unopposed. They are:

• Assessor Jim Avery, a Republican from Port Orchard;

• Auditor Karen Flynn, a Democrat from South Kitsap;,

• Clerk Dave Peterson, a Silverdale Democrat:

• Prosecutor Russ Hauge, a Democrat.

In all of the judicial races involving Kitsap County, the incumbent judges are running unopposed, including state appellate court judge Robin Hunt of Bainbridge Island.

All candidates’ names will appear on the September 17 primary ballot, Flynn said, even those who are unopposed. The top primary vote-getters in the “major” parties – Democrat, Republican and Libertarian – will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

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