Incumbents strong in 23rd District -- Election Results

Local voters favored incumbents and familiar faces Tuesday, maintaining the party balance in 23rd District legislative and Kitsap County commission seats, in unofficial final returns early Wednesday morning.

Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) trounced Bremerton real estate agent Doug Kitchens, earning 59 percent of the vote to ascend to District 23's Washington State Senate seat, open with the retirement of Democrat Betti Sheldon.

Voters gave Rockefeller's old House seat to Democrat Sherry Appleton, a former Poulsbo councilwoman, who easily outpaced another Kitsap County realtor, Frank Mahaffay. Incumbent Poulsbo Republican Bev Woods easily held off a challenge by Terry Ducheane in the other 23rd District House race, earning 54 percent.

Democrats also swept the rest of the area's legislative delegation, with Patricia Lantz and Derek Kilmer prevailing for District 26 seats, and Kathy Haigh and William Eickmeyer winning in the 35 District.

With two of the three Kitsap County Commission seats up, voters gave Poulsbo's Chris Endresen a third term. The Democrat earned 52 percent of the vote to fend off Scott Henden, a North Kitsap electrical contractor, for the second straight election. Jan Angel, a South Kitsap Republican, held her seat against Charlotte Garrido, whom Angel ousted to earn the post four years ago.

In a non-binding advisory measure, Kitsap voters urged area fire officials not to ban all fireworks on the Fourth of July. The measure was opposed by 54 percent.

Kitsap voters mirrored their peers statewide in giving overwhelming endorsements to U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, both of whom were elected to new terms. Kitsap voters also preferred to the Kerry/Edwards presidential ticket by more than 52 percent, and were split on the Washington gubernatorial race between Christine Gregoire and Dino Rossi.

The totals will be updated Thursday afternoon, the Kitsap County Elections Office said.

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