Peters, Gallagher vie for PCO position

Democrat activists run to serve island’s Tolo precinct.

Precinct Committee Officers are elected to serve two-year terms for their party in neighborhood-size zones.

PCOs encourage party involvement, typically through phone calls, events organizing and doorbelling. PCOs also vote for their party’s county leaders and nominate candidates for vacated posts on the county commission and state Legislature.

Out of 22 precincts on the island, only the Tolo precinct is contested. Party activists Dan Gallagher and Barry Peters will square off for the precinct’s Democrat position in the Sept. 14 primary.

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Dan Gallagher

Party: Democrat

Office sought: Democrat Party Precinct Committee Officer, Tolo 333.

Age: 43

Occupation: Civil rights lawyer

Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.

Education: Law degree, University of Oregon (Eugene); bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy, University of Iowa (Iowa City)

Civic Involvement: Bainbridge Island Childcare Centers board, Democratic Party state convention delegate, a Kitsap County coordinator for Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign.

Why he’s running: “I want to keep people energized,” he said. “I want to make the political process more visible. I want to help people keep in touch and stay active in the process.”

Boosting volunteerism: “I’ll encourage activities among those portions of the electorate who are dissatisfied by the status quo,” he said.

Gallagher plans to galvanize supporters of Instant Runoff Voting, organize discussions at local cafes, establish an email discussion group and update the party’s voter list.

“We need to foment dissent in creative ways for the new policies we’d like to see.”

Getting out the vote in November:

“The message is clear from Florida that every vote counts,” Gallagher said. “I will make sure to contact every registered voter in my precinct. I’ll contact them directly, with phone calls and doorbelling, to see if they need help or to discuss why they’re not voting. For people disgusted with the options, I would say there are distinctions between the two candidates for president and that now is one of the most important times ever to vote.”

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Barry Peters

Party: Democrat

Office sought: Democrat Party Precinct Committee Officer, Tolo 333.

Age: 58

Occupation: Retirement benefits consultant

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Penn.

Education: Law degree, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia); bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs, Princeton University

Civic Involvement: Democratic Party county and state convention delegate. Organized three political forums on health care, President Bush’s tax policies and the environment. Was a Bainbridge organizer for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.

Why he’s running: “As a four-year resident of Bainbridge, I have new energy and fresh interest in helping out,” he said. “I’ve been on Bainbridge long enough to appreciate Bainbridge’s community values. If elected, I will encourage excellent candidates to run and hold them accountable. I will make my neighbors’ votes count.”

Boosting volunteerism: “I will get on the phone and let people know about the need and opportunity to get involved with whatever time they have,” he said. Peters also promises to establish an email newsletter to report on events and emerging issues.

Getting out the vote in November: Peters was active in boosting turnout at February’s Democratic party caucus and will use similar strategies to encourage people to vote.

“We had six times as many people turnout at the caucus as before,” he said. “I helped do that by having house parties, making a hundred phone calls and sent out over 150 emails.”

Peters also pledged to increase voter registration with volunteer help.

“There is a critical need for volunteers to help register voters for this election.”

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Candidate profiles of other contested primary races will appear in Saturday’s Review. Profiles of candidates in uncontested races will appear in advance of the general election.

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