Tibbs elected chairman of county Republican Party

POULSBO — Chris Tibbs, a two-time candidate for District 1 County Commission and former member of the county Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, was elected chairman of the Kitsap County Republican Party Tuesday.

He succeeds Jack Hamilton.

Linda Simpson, a Navy reservist who ran for District 2 County Commission in November, was elected vice chairwoman. Other officers elected: Tony Stephens, state committeeman; Susan Thatcher, state committeewoman; Chris Ferguson, treasurer; Juliana McMahon, secretary; Brett Warner, finance chairman.

Tibbs is owner of United Provisions Corporation, a restaurant supply company, in Seattle. He ran unsuccessfully for North Kitsap School Board in 2001, and for Public Utility District 1 in 2006. In 2008, he was appointed to the county Citizens Budget Advisory Committee and became vice chairman.

He was the Republican nominee for District 1 County Commission in 2011 to complete the term vacated by Steve Bauer, and in 2012 for a full four-year term. In the latest election, he received 50,365 votes to Rob Gelder’s 62,832.

Simpson lost a 2010 race for 35th District state representative by 52 votes. In the latest election for County Commission, she received 54,097 votes to Charlotte Garrido’s 59,611.

Simpson has served for 12 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and worked for two years as a teacher at the Bremerton Boys & Girls Club. She’s also a remarkable athlete.

A Navy Mineman 2nd Class, she won three gold medals for Team Navy/Coast Guard in the women’s single leg amputee 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke events at the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., in May. She was injured in a motorcycle accident in 2011 that resulted in the loss of her left leg.

Reflecting back on her recovery and participation in the 2012 Warrior Games, Simpson commented in a story filed by the Navy, “When I woke up from my amputation surgery, I knew I could either choose to sit and cry or I could choose to move forward; I chose to move forward.”

During the last County Commission campaign, Tibbs and Simpson said county government must control spending, improve customer service, be more business friendly and do more to create private sector jobs. They wanted an independent performance audit to identify what is working and not working in county government. Tibbs is also an advocate of establishing a county charter. Under a county charter, voters can establish local rules for how their county government operates. They could make elected positions non-partisan (with the exception of prosecuting attorney), consolidate departments, establish a citizens salary commission to periodically regularly review and adjust salaries of elected officials, and give voters the right to propose initiatives and referenda.



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