Mayor Medina says he won’t challenge Peltier for council seat

Bainbridge Island Mayor Kol Medina said this week he won’t be running for the at-large position on the Bainbridge city council when he seeks re-election this year.

The Bainbridge Review reported last week that Medina had filed as a candidate in the November 2019 election, but his candidate registration on file with the state noted he was not running to retain his seat. That left just one seat — the at-large, District 1 seat — that Medina could seek.

But in an email to the Review, Medina said he will ask voters for another term in the North Ward council seat he currently holds.

“To be clear, I am running for city council again. I will be running for the same North Ward seat that I’m in now. I will not be running for the at-large seat,” Medina said.

When reminded that his official candidate registration form — filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission on April 3 — noted he was seeking election to the Bainbridge council, but not the position he currently holds, Medina indicated that was a mistake.

“That’s strange. I guess I need to go fix that,” he said in an email to the Review. “Thanks for bringing it to my attention.”

Medina submitted an amended candidate registration form on April 30 with the Public Disclosure Commission, and the new submittal was changed to reflect he is running for the position on the council he now holds.

While a council majority is at stake this coming November, the battle for the at-large council seat promises to be one of the most closely watched races this year on Bainbridge.

The position is currently held by Councilman Ron Peltier, a first-term councilman who has been besieged by ethics complaints and accusations of bullying behavior in recent months.

So far, two candidates have announced they are running for the at-large, District 1 position: former city councilwoman and mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos, and Anthony Oddo, currently the chairman of the city’s Marine Access Committee.

Both Hytopoulos and Oddo have said the behavior of some on the council were reasons that prompted them to run for the at-large seat.

Peltier has not announced a re-election bid. If Peltier enters the race, it will guarantee a Primary Election winnowing of the field.

Four seats on the seven-member council will be on the ballot this November.

In addition to the at-large, District 1 and District 2 North Ward seat, the District 4, Central Ward position and the District 6, South Ward position will be up for grabs.

Councilwoman Leslie Schneider, who was appointed to the District 4, Central Ward seat in April 2018, has filed to run for election.

Councilwoman Sarah Blossom, who was first voted into the District 6, South Ward position in November 2011, has not yet said if she will seek a third term on the council.

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