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Voters give Kordonowy second term

Incumbent Darlene Kordonowy reacts to early election returns that showed her with 61 percent of the vote Tuesday evening, and a certain second term as Bainbridge Island mayor. Kordonowy bested challenger Nezam Tooloee, a first-term city councilman; she and her supporters gathered at a Winslow diner to celebrate the campaign’s end and monitor election results throughout the evening. - DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo
Incumbent Darlene Kordonowy reacts to early election returns that showed her with 61 percent of the vote Tuesday evening, and a certain second term as Bainbridge Island mayor. Kordonowy bested challenger Nezam Tooloee, a first-term city councilman; she and her supporters gathered at a Winslow diner to celebrate the campaign’s end and monitor election results throughout the evening.
— image credit: DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo

Bainbridge voters handed incumbent mayor Darlene Kordonowy a second term Tuesday evening.

Kordonowy enjoyed a 61 percent showing over challenger Nezam Tooloee, a freshman councilman, in unofficial final returns with about 36 percent of ballots counted countywide.

“It feels really good, but it isn’t over ‘til it’s over,” Kordonowy said, as she and about three dozen supporters gathered at Winslow’s Big Star Diner to monitor the evening’s returns.

In Bainbridge council races, incumbents Bill Knobloch and Debbie Vancil appeared assured of second terms.

Knobloch outpaced challenger John Doerschuk with a 63 percent showing to hold his central ward seat, while Vancil was earning 55 percent support in the north ward against Frank Renna.

Kjell Stoknes polled 70 percent against Doug Smith for a vacant central ward council seat, while Chris Snow claimed another unopposed in the south end.

Kirk Robinson held his park board seat with 59 percent over challenger Mary Fearey, while David Coatsworth earned 65 percent to best Michael Adams for a vacant fire board post.

Incumbent Mary Curtis held her school board seat unopposed, while Mike Foley was handed a vacant school board seat without opposition.

Kordonowy said she was already looking forward to working with the next council on issues facing the island.

“I called every candidate and said, regardless of what happens, I wish you luck,’” Kordonowy said, “and tomorrow, let’s put into practice what we’ve learned during the campaign.”

A party of a “couple dozen friends” joined Tooloee at his home Tuesday evening for what he called a “celebration of grassroots democracy.”

One neighbor even brought a tuft of grass from her yard.

Tooloee said he was “not surprised” at the fist batch of unofficial returns.

“I didn’t expect to win,” he said. “I would have been pleasantly surprised if I did. I mean, I’m up for the job if that’s the outcome.

“The odds were in Darlene’s favor, they’ve always been in her favor. Even before she ran for mayor the fist time she had the best civic resume in town with 20 plus yeas of involvement and more friends than God.”

Tooloee said he would wait for the final results before evaluating how his “unconventional” campaign fared. Tooloee refused financial contributions, bought no ads and relied on public appearances and a detailed website.

“I think I’m going to wait and see then final results before I react to that,” he said. “Several people told me I was hamstringing myself and that I wouldn’t be able to wage an effective campaign if I took the traditional methods off the table. But I don’t really care. I think its the right way to do local politics.”

In Poulsbo, challenger Kathryn Quade pulled 70 percent of the counted ballots to unseat incumbent mayor Donna Jean Bruce.

“I want to thank all of my supporters and I look forward to the challenges ahead,” Quade said as she celebrated the returns.

In Bremerton, incumbent Cary Bozeman earned re-election unopposed, the only other mayoral contest decided by Kitsap voters.

In other Poulsbo races, incumbent Councilman Ed Stern led challenger Stan Kennedy with 61 percent of the vote, while Councilman Dale Rudolph showed 62 percent over Herb Kai. Kim Crowder was elected unopposed.

Port Orchard voters appeared to put two new faces on their council, while continuing the terms of two others. Incumbents Carolyn Powers (61 percent) and Bob Geiger (54 percent) looked headed to re-election Tuesday while Fred Chang (60 percent) defeated former mayor Leslie “Jay” Weatherill, and Tye Moore (58 percent) overcame Melode Sapp.

Bremerton voters appeared to favor Adam Brockus (55 percent) over John Ales, while Brad Gehring, Mike Shepherd, Carol Arends and Nick Wofford all earned council seats unopposed.

Complete election results can be found www.kitsapgov.com.

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