PORT ORCHARD — Five candidates are on the primary ballot to challenge Charlotte Garrido for her Kitsap County Commissioner District 2 seat. The incumbent is seeking a fourth four-year term.
Garrido, who lives in South Kitsap, is a Democrat and will be facing two members of her own party who are running for her seat. Paul Nuchims, a member of the Manchester Citizens Advisory Committee, and Stacey (Spencer) Smith, director of Kitsap County Division of Aging and Long-Term Care, are opposing Garrido in the primary election.
Republicans Marcus Carter and Oran R. Root are seeking advancement to the general election in November.
Carter, a carpenter by trade who has an extensive history of experience as a firearms enthusiast and instructor, has been in leadership roles with the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club. Carter believes that elected officials “have lost their way and forgotten the only duty of their position is to protect our individual rights. Everything they do, every decision they make, every code they pass must follow that mandate.”
Root is a retired Marine Corps Special Operations combat veteran “and a solutions-focused entrepreneur that founded and runs OSCAR 6, providing highly specialized military training to Air Force and Navy personnel, and co-founded RuckPack Nutrition,” according to the voters’ guide. Root said Kitsap County requires strong leadership to help restore the regional economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over these next years, we’ll need to make some difficult decisions to support the families and taxpayers of our community.” He points to his fiscal conservatism and small business experience to provide that leadership, he said in the statement.
Garrido, who also was a county parks commissioner, also has been a small business owner and university teacher. She created the South Kitsap Community Council and co-founded the Port Orchard Farmers’ Market.
The incumbent said Kitsap County’s future “depends on a strong economy, a healthy environment and local people working together.” She said the COVID-19 pandemic has burdened all aspects of community life. “There is much to do on our phased Kitsap ‘Pathway to Recovery’ outlined by Kitsap Public Health and Kitsap Department of Emergency Management.”
Democrat Smith said her experience over 25 years in the mental health field has given her the leadership skills that will translate to county government. Her focus, if elected, will be on workforce development of living wage jobs, housing, education and the environment. She also is in favor of establishing “fair local taxes.”
Bob Perkins, who is running without a political affiliation, is an engineer and program manager as a contractor to the Office of Naval Research West Coast Operations. He pointed to his experience in personnel management and supervision, and in handling complex budgets and operating accounts. In his voters’ guide statement, Perkins said that he is running to provide a service to the community “by way of commerce, recreation, environmental protection and educational opportunities.”
Robert Gelder, the incumbent commissioner for District 1, has served in the post since 2011 and is completing his second full term. He has more than 20 years of experience in health and human services, with more than a decade in senior management leadership.
Gelder said he has worked to improve the quality of life across Kitsap County during his tenure in office. He said the addition of 4,000 acres into open space through the Kitsap Forest & Bay Campaign is one of the accomplishments he has made while in office. In order to help address a long-term solution to ferry gridlock throughout downtown Kingston, Gelder said he secured more than $2.1 million to accomplish that task.
Over the next term, if reelected, the incumbent said he plans to focus on improvements to the permitting process; job sector growth; transportation infrastructure changes; and affordable housing.
His opponent is Scott Henden, a Republican. The 57-year Kitsap resident has operated Henden Electric for 35 years. He is advocating traffic solutions in Kingston, Navy Yard and the Hood Canal Bridge.
“For 25 years affordable housing had been on the decline to the point it takes twice the current income to afford what I could starting out,” Henden said in the voters’ pamphlet.