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Daugs: ‘It’s personal, not political’
Daryl Daugs, director of the nonprofit Families for Kids, is running for mayor of Bremerton and said his decision had nothing to do with politics.
“For me, deciding to run for mayor is personal, not political,” Daugs said. “I grew up here. My kids have grown up here. I love this community. Our neighborhoods are as unique as the people who live in them.”
Daugs was raised in Port Orchard by his father, a social worker-turned Lutheran pastor and his mother, a nurse who obtained her associates degree from Olympic College.
As a teen, Daugs was on the Bremerton YMCA swim team and enjoyed cruising the streets in his red 1966 Mustang.
He met his wife, Leslie, while attending Olympic College and worked with her at R&H Market on Kitsap Way.
The Daugs have three children: Leane, 27, Gwen, 18, and Daryl III, 15, and also have cared for 54 foster children over the years, he said.
Daugs obtained a degree in organizational business management with a focus on nonprofit organizations from Northwest University.
After school, Daugs spent five years in California as operations manager for a large corporation before moving back to Bremerton to become an agent for Thrivent Financial.
Since then, he has made a change into the nonprofit world and is now ready to take on the bigger challenge of running a city.
Daugs said he wants to work on the economic viability of Bremerton by attracting manufacturing businesses to the city.
“We are a prime community for small manufacturing business,” Daugs said. “Big corporations do add to the economy. However, small family owned businesses truly care about neighborhoods and schools.”
Daugs said Bremerton is “teeming with opportunities for strong local businesses,” and he wants to take advantage of those opportunities by taking care of the small business owner.
“Around 52 percent of the businesses in the county are home-based businesses,” Daugs said.
Affordable housing also is important to Daugs.
“I want to live in a community that families can afford to live in,” he said. “This is not Seattle or San Francisco.”
He said he is happy with the recent progress in Bremerton, but he feels there is much more to do.
“We have seen some very impressive improvements downtown in recent years,” Daugs said. “I love the parks, the gateway and the fountains. This should be seen as the beginning. We are more than just a place to drive through on the way to or from the ferry.”
If elected, Daugs plans to focus on the revitalization of downtown neighborhoods, improved streets and infrastructure as well as the streamlining of government service.