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Anderson takes a strong lead

POULSBO — North Kitsap School Board candidate Tom Anderson was pleasantly taken aback by the unofficial school board primary results that saw him earn twice the votes of his competitors.

Anderson, a former Naval officer and NK and Bainbridge retired school teacher, secured 4,718 votes — about 53 percent of the total tally. That mark put him well in the lead as he pursues school board District 1 position.

“I was surprised by the percentage,” Anderson said. “I thought I would definitely make it into the general election, but not by this much. It showed me that there was something in my statements that resonated with the voters.”

Brian Maule, a home-based travel consultant whose wife teaches at Breidablik, received the second most votes with 2,305, about 26 percent. The third candidate, Grant Romaine, a Poulsbo detective, got 1,798 votes, or 20 percent.

The results, which have not yet been officially certified by the county, thrust both now-heavy favorite Anderson and Maule into the general election in November.

However, Romaine will not concede just yet.

“I don’t have any comments until after the county auditor certifies the election,” Romaine said. “I’ll sit tight until then and see where it goes from there.”

One of the candidates will be replacing longtime school board member and political journeyman Dick Endresen, who has represented District 1 for two decades.

Newcomer Maule said he was happy coming into the race without much name recognition.

“I think I did very well and I just have to get my message out to everyone,” he said. “I always felt I was behind the eight ball, but if I made it through primary, I’d be on the same footing.”

Anderson and Maule acknowledge they come from different backgrounds, yet are similar in their advocacy for public education.

Anderson said he’ll focus his campaign on academic excellence, such as the vastly improved WASL scores at Suquamish Elementary this year, and how to transfer those scores to other schools.

Maule said he’d like to see a more diverse board make-up, which he believes he’d provide as he is a parent of a North Kitsap School District student on the board.

Anderson added his job in the coming months will be to keep getting his name out to the people of his district.

“I’m going to continue campaigning,” he said, “Talk to as many constituents as possible.”

Maule said he’ll do the same, and he hopes above all else to clear the air for his constituents on all issues.

“I just want to give voters a choice,” he said. “I’ll be happy with whatever they decide.”

The other school board race being contested is the District 3 position, which has only two candidates — Melanie Mohler and Matthew Cleverley — vying for the seat currently held by Bethany McDonald, who is not seeking reelection.

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