Community

Want to run for public office? File deadline is looming

PORT ORCHARD — Anyone running for political office in Kitsap County needs to file next week for their names to appear on this year’s primary or general election ballot.

The filing period, from June 2 to 6, was moved up a month to reflect the earlier Aug. 19 primary date.

All candidates are required to visit the Kitsap County Auditor’s office in Port Orchard between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to complete filing papers and pay a fee amounting to 1 percent of the salary of that particular office. They also must file a financial statement with the state.

The newly enacted “Louisiana-style” primary also changes the nature of the election, because the top two vote-getters will advance on to the Nov. 4 general election. It also raises the possibility of two candidates from the same party facing each other in the general election, without representation from the opposing party.

While filing begins Monday, it’s likely most of the candidates running have already announced their intentions.

This now shakes out to a few three- and four-way contests, such as the race for South Kitsap commissioner, and several one-on-ones. In these cases, the same two will face each other in both the primary and general elections.

As of Friday afternoon, North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer and Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington, who were both appointed by the Democratic Party to fill unexpired terms, had no announced opposition.

Kris Danielson, a South Kitsap Republican who ran against Kitsap County Assessor Jim Avery in the 2006 primary, said any candidate who has not yet announced faces an uphill battle.

“If you announce during filing week, you only have 45 days to get your message across,” said Danielson, who did just that. “This is hard, even when the issues are clear. But you can never predict how people will vote.”

The highest visibility race with just two candidates is the 26th District House race between South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel and former Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel, to replace retiring Pat Lantz.

Otherwise, 26th District Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor), 23rd District Reps. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) and Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) and 23rd District Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) all have one opponent.

While these candidates will face each other twice, the primary contest will give them an idea of their strengths and weaknesses among various voter blocs, according to Danielson.

A strong showing will also help fundraising.

Races with more than two declared candidates where one faces elimination are the South Kitsap Commissioner, Kitsap Superior Court Judge position now occupied by Leonard Costello and Rep. Bill Eickmeyer’s 35th District house seat. Rep. Kathy Haigh, also of the 35th District, has two opponents.

Voters will also notice a change in the voter’s pamphlet, which will not contain information about the Superior Court race. This information will appear in the state voter’s pamphlet, along with other statewide and judicial races.

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