Roth, Tollefson and Townsend get endorsement in council races from 23rd Legislative District Democrats

Roger Townsend, Val Tollefson and Wayne Roth have earned the endorsement of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats in their pursuit for a seat on the Bainbridge Island City Council.

The membership of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats met Tuesday, July 30 in Poulsbo and voted to endorse the candidates.

Mary Bryant, chairwoman of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats, said the review process was extensive.

"When we put our name behind a candidate, it's got to be a respectable candidate; someone who upholds our principles and has also shown that they will serve the people well," Bryant said.

The 23rd Legislative District Democrats does not seek out candidates to endorse.

Instead, the endorsement process is launched by each candidate, who must complete a questionnaire prepared by the organization.

The executive board then conducts an individual interview with each candidate. The board also reviews the Public Disclosure Commission filings by each candidate that show contributions received by the campaign and contributions made by each candidate to other campaigns; and also looks at media reports on the candidates; public statements made by the candidates; election and voting participation; and the voting record of any candidate who has previously served in public office.

"We take it very seriously," Bryant said.

Only four candidates from Bainbridge council races sought the endorsement of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats.

The board also interviewed candidate Arlene Buetow in addition to Roth, Tollefson and Townsend.

Buetow is challenging Roth for the Central Ward, Position 5 seat on the council. Incumbent Councilwoman Debbi Lester chose not to seek re-election.

Tollefson is running for the North Ward, Position 7 seat against Richard (Dick) Haugan. The position is currently held by Councilman Bob Scales, who also decided against a re-election run.

In the remaining council race, for the South Ward, Position 3 seat, Townsend is competing against Dee McComb. The position is currently held by Councilwoman Kirsten Hytopoulos, who decided against running for another term.

Buetow was interviewed by the executive board of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats on July 8; Tollefson, Townsend and Roth were interviewed during a 3 1/2-hour marathon session of the board on July 15.

The board decided to endorse Roth over Buetow, Bryant said.

Bryant said approximately 60 members of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats attended this week's bi-monthly meeting to vote on the endorsements.

Townsend, Tollefson and Roth each received a "yes" vote from at least 75 percent of the people attending the meeting.


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