Medina to run for re-election to Bainbridge council

Bainbridge City Councilman Kol Medina has filed as a candidate in the November 2019 election.

And with his candidacy comes a big question mark.

Medina, who currently serves as mayor, registered as a candidate for the city council with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission in early April.

The position that Medina will seek in November was not made clear in his candidate registration, but it apparently is a different position than the one he now holds.

Medina’s registration form shows he is running for the Bainbridge council, but he did not identify a position number on his filing form, and instead said “NA.”

And on the form where a candidate is asked, “Do you know hold this office?” — Medina checked the box for “No.”

If Medina is not seeking re-election to his North Ward seat, there is only one other position on the Bainbridge council he can seek this year: the at-large, District 1 position now held by Councilman Ron Peltier.

Five seats on the Bainbridge council will be up for election this year.

Those include Medina’s North Ward seat, as well as the District 1 position; the District 4, Central Ward seat held by Councilwoman Leslie Schneider; and the District 6, South Ward seat held by Councilwoman Sarah Blossom.

Schneider, who was appointed nearly a year ago to the council, announced at this week’s council meeting that she would be a candidate for the council this year. Blossom and Peltier have not said publicly if they will run for another term.

Candidates who run for a ward position must reside in that district. The at-large council seat is open to any otherwise qualified candidate.

Medina, an attorney, ran unopposed and was elected November 2015 to the District 2, North Ward seat on the council.

He is president/CEO of the Kitsap Community Foundation. Before joining the foundation, he worked for almost nine years as the executive director of the West Sound Wildlife Shelter and served on the boards of directors of One Call for All; Community Energy Solutions; and the Association of Bainbridge Communities.

Before his work at local nonprofits, Medina, a graduate of Stanford Law School, worked for three years at the law firm of Foster Pepper.

If Medina does indeed pursue election to the at-large council position, that will force a primary election battle even if Peltier does not seek a second term.

Two other candidates have already said they are in the at-large race; former mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos, and Anthony Oddo, who currently is the policy and programs coordinator for the nonprofit Housing Resources Bainbridge.

More candidates for this year’s election will be determined during Filing Week in Kitsap County, scheduled for May 13 through May 17.