City candidates take center stage

POULSBO — Voters will get their first crack at candidates in the upcoming city council and mayoral races Thursday night during a forum hosted by the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce.

The event is slated to begin at 6 p.m. at the Sons of Norway and is being moderated the League of Women Voters.

“It’s extremely important for the mayoral race to set the stage before the September primary,” said Chamber Executive Director Stuart Leidner.

While the primary will narrow the mayor’s field from three to two, the forum is equally important for the council candidates, Leidner said.

“We obviously have some new candidates for city council and this gives them a chance to be recognized,” he explained.

The format for the event will include two-minute opening remarks by each candidate, a question-and-answer period and closing remarks, Leidner said.

“People will have the opportunity to fill out a form of questions they want to pose to the candidates,” he said.

Those questions can either be directed at one particular candidate or all of them, Leidner said.

The three mayoral candidates will be present at the forum and include Mayor Donna Jean Bruce, Councilwoman Kathryn Quade and Councilman Mike Regis.

Bruce is seeking her third term as mayor after taking the reins in 1998 when former Mayor Mitch Mitchusson resigned. She was reelected in 2001, defeating Regis in the general election.

Quade, who has been on the council since 2001 and served on the council in the 1990s, announced her intention to seek the city’s top seat in December.

Regis is making his third run for the mayor’s position and has served on the council since 1999.

Ed Stern is seeking his fourth term as a councilman and is currently chairman of the council’s finance committee. Stern has focused his campaign on growth issues for the city.

Stern’s opponent is political newcomer Stan Kennedy, who is making his first run for elected office. Kennedy has billed himself as a proponent for long-range planning by the city and has a background in strategic planning.

Dale Rudolph is also seeking his fourth term on the council and currently chairs the council’s public works committee. Rudolph has focused his efforts on the city’s visioning process and municipal campus project.

Rudolph faces a familiar face in longtime community advocate Herbert Kai, who is unable to attend the event. Kai believes the council should legislate, not operate, supervise or manage city operations.

Poulsbo Tea House owner Kimberlee Crowder is running unopposed to fill the seat vacated by Quade. Crowder is seeking increased public input in the visioning process and expects to bring the perspective of a downtown business owner to the council table.

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