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Filing week begins with little fanfare

POULSBO — By the end of the week, voters in Little Norway should at least know who the candidates are in four citywide races, as the campaign season begins in earnest.

Three city council seats are up for grabs as Councilmen Ed Stern and Dale Rudolph have already announced their intentions to run for re-election in districts 5 and 6 and are waiting until the end of the week to see if they’ll face any opposition.

If only one candidate decides to challenge those positions, the winner will be decided in November’s general election. However, if more than one person decides to run against Stern or Rudolph, then the top two vote-getters would make it through the September primary and go on to the general election.

“I’ll be doing it right away,” Stern said as he prepared to file for office. “However, I probably won’t know until Friday at 4 p.m. if I’ll face any opposition.”

Stern, who has been on the council since 1998, said he expects most potential candidates to take a wait-and-see approach before deciding whether or not to file.

“I won’t say I’m running unopposed, because there’s still a lot of time for people to file,” he said Monday morning.

While Stern and Rudolph have staked clear claims to their council seats, Councilwoman Kathryn Quade’s decision to run for mayor leaves her seat vacant.

One potential candidate mentioned by many is longtime community advocate Herbert Kai, who has regularly attended both council and committee meetings.

However, Kai said he will make his decision sometime Thursday afternoon instead of jumping into the fray early.

“I have been able to stand up and speak for the position of the average citizen and I really enjoy doing that,” Kai said.

A decision to run for elected office will largely depend on who has announced their intentions by Thursday afternoon, he remarked.

“If I look Thursday and see anybody who’s really not supporting the citizens, then I would run,” he said.

While Kai is waiting until Thursday afternoon, Poulsbo Tea House owner Kim Crowder filed for Quade’s vacant seat at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

“I’ve been on the Parks and Recreation Board and am a business owner in downtown,” Crowder said. “I think I would be a fresh voice on the council.”

Quade will join current mayor Donna Jean Bruce and Councilman Mike Regis in what appears to be a three-person race, giving importance to September’s primary election.

Bruce’s and Quade’s political futures are directly tied to the outcome of the election, while Regis would maintain his council seat until 2008 if he loses in either the primary or general election.

“I went down and filed and paid my fees, so it’s official,” Quade announced Monday morning. “I wish I could have been first, but Mike Regis beat me to it.”

Regis said he has already been campaigning for a while but formally filing on Monday was an important move.

“It was a clear indication of my intention to run for mayor and I want be a frontrunner, so I filed first,” Regis said.

While Quade and Regis have taken the plunge, Mayor Bruce said she will formally file for re-election some time this week.

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