Kitsap County commissioners Charlotte Garrido and Rob Gelder were right back at work in Port Orchard Wednesday morning following election night victories the night before.
Initial vote totals released by the auditor’s office Tuesday night showed Garrido, a Democrat, outpacing her Republican opponent Linda Simpson by a margin of 54.29 percent to 47.26 percent.
Gelder, also a Democrat, was ahead in his race against Republican challenger Chris Tibbs by a margin of 55.19 percent to 44.6 percent.
County staffers congratulated Garrido and Gelder on their previous night’s victories throughout the morning Wednesday. At one point, Garrido was asked if she was especially tired following the campaign and election night.
“It’s just another day,” Garrido replied.
Garrido later said that diligence was the key to her victory.
“I like to knock on people’s doors and talk to them; going from neighborhood to neighborhood to connect with voters,” she said.
Garrido said that her re-election campaign against Simpson was civil and she stayed focus on accomplishments from the last four years and continuing that positive work moving forward. Garrido said that one way to ensure that forward momentum is to continue working on leadership continuity for when managers or directors retire or leave the county.
“We are looking to be as effective as possible and we’re working together collectively as a government on behalf of the citizens,” Garrido said.
Garrido also focused on community engagement.
“I really believe I’m here to represent people,” she said. “I try to be as responsive and welcoming as possible for citizens’s opinions and skills.”
Gelder said his election night success was the result of hard work.
“The number one thing was just continuing to focus on doing the job itself and trying to make the biggest impact that I possibly could day in and day out with the various citizens I’ve been working with for the last 18 months,” he said.
Gelder said the overriding themes of the campaign revolved around the budget, jobs and regulations.
“We really are focusing on what we can do to support jobs and what the county’s role overall is,” he said. “We’re really looking at how our zoning and regulations support jobs in the local community. I think that really resonated with folks because it’s a tangible way we can truly impact peoples’ lives and livelihoods.
In the night’s other marquee race for retiring Congressman Norm Dick’s 6th District seat, Gig Harbor Democrat Derek Kilmer won handily over Republican challenger Bill Driscoll, by an initial margin of 58 to 42 percent.
“Tonight’s results show that folks want a congressman who understands what struggling middle-class families and small businesses are going through and will who cut through the partisan gridlock to deliver real results to help them. I’m honored by their confidence in me to make that happen,” said Kilmer, the Vice President of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, a nonprofit focused on creating and retaining jobs. “We need to get people back to work and get Congress back to work, too.”