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Kordonowy, Tooloee advance to general

The incumbent polled 53 percent, doubling the votes of her closest rival.

The vote was 53-47. That is, 53 percent for Darlene Kordonowy, 47 percent for “Other.”

So Tuesday’s primary election left the incumbent mayor bouyant at her prospects for a second term as the city’s top elected official, as she faces a challenge from freshman councilman Nezam Tooloee in the Nov. 8 general election.

“I’m elated, and looking forward to the next part of the campaign,” said Kordonowy, who pulled in 53 percent of the 8,565 votes counted by elections officials through Friday afternoon.

“I think we need to spend time on issues,” Kordonowy said. “Unfortunately, there were distractions (in the primary), but this is a time when we can focus on the community.”

Tooloee polled 26 percent of the vote without fund-raising, political advertising or other promotion beyond personal appearances.

The councilman said he was “pleased” with his showing.

“I think there is a messaage in the fact that fully half of the voters voted for something other than Darlene,” he said. “For me, that means there’s a real concern in the minds of the voters as to whether we have the leadership that we need.”

Also Tuesday, Bainbridge voters approved a six-year, $2.27 million property tax hike for new fire trucks, giving the measure 61 percent support.

Countywide, voters defeated a “law and justice” levy would have funded new police and court positions through a sales tax hike, giving it just 34 percent support. And island resident Sally Olsen held her seat on the Kitsap County Superior Court bench, besting challenger Jonathan R. Morrison with 69 percent.

In the island’s four-way mayoral contest, the rest of the field was left well behind.

Will Peddy, who raised more than $14,000 in campaign contributions to Kordonowy’s $10,000, garnered just 1,022 votes, or 12 percent, through late-week returns.

The city’s code enforcement officer was critical of Kordonowy throughout the campaign, vowing to “bring efficiency and accountability to the People’s House.”

But he was dogged by apparent discrepencies in his published resume, including claims of a college degree that his campaign later conceded he did not hold.

The fourth candidate, Michaels C. “Michael” Berry, a Winslow accountant who left on a lengthy vacation shortly after declaring for office, polled 9 percent.

In a “concession statement” issued Thursday, Peddy threw his weight behind Tooloee – an endorsement that was not well-received.

“I’m less than comfortable being endorsed by Will Peddy because of the language and tenor of his campaign,” Tooloee said Thursday. “The language was harsh, and the tenor was inappropriate.”

Tooloee said issues raised by Peddy “did not rise to the level of a mayoral campaign,” and pertained mostly to the performance of Peddy’s City Hall co-workers.

Those issues, Tooloee said, “need to be addressed in the ordinary course of business, probably by the city administrator.”

Ballots for the all-mail general election go out Oct. 19.

* * * * *

Peddy under review

Within 24 hours of his defeat in Tuesday’s mayoral primary, city code enforcement officer Will Peddy was placed on paid administrative leave by the city.

Peddy’s employment with the city is under review, after discrepencies in his published resume were uncovered during the campaign. Claims of a college degree were disavowed by the Peddy’s campaign after his educational background was probed by an online journal, and Peddy’s work history has also come into question.

“We have to investigate, and we’ll try to do it in a reasonable period of time,” city attorney Paul McMurray said.

It was unclear who would carry out the inquiry for the city, and how expansive it would be.

“The reality is that citizens can always come in and raise concerns about an employee,” McMurray said.

– Douglas Crist

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