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Election season heats up following a spate of filings
Election season in Bremerton is heating up following last week’s filing deadline.
The marquee race will pit Mayor Patty Lent against political newcomer Todd Best. But a few other city council races should also prove plenty interesting as council colleagues and former colleagues vie for votes.
In the mayor’s race, Lent said that she is proud of her record and plans to campaign hard to keep her post.
“First of all, I’m excited about the accomplishments over the last three years,” Lent said. “Having said that, I didn’t get all the work accomplished that I wanted to. I feel like a second term will allow me to leave the city with the most sustainable, balanced budget that I could possibly leave any city.”
Lent also said that she looks forward to expanding the city’s limits in a second term, especially in Gorst where dirt was first turned in 2009 to install sewers.
“We’d like to have areas where we provide utilities to be part of the city,” Lent said. “We do a good job of providing water and sewer services and feel that making them a part of the city makes good sense.”
Lent began her four year term as mayor in January 2010 after holding a prior position as Kitsap County Commissioner from 2003 to 2006. She holds leadership positions on many boards, including the American Red Cross-West Sound, Kitsap Mental Health Services, Bremerton Central Lions Club, Kitsap Community Foundation and is a lifetime member of the United States Navy League.
Lent was a business owner in travel and tourism for more than 14 years in King and Kitsap counties. Her careers in the private sector have spanned mortgage banking, public relations, sales and marketing and teaching at Edmonds Community College. She has lived in Bremerton with her husband, Doug, for 24 years. They have five children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Best, a U.S. Navy Gulf War veteran and former New York City firefighter who is a longtime Bremerton resident, filed paperwork to run for mayor late Friday afternoon.
Best filed with only minutes to spare ahead of Friday’s deadline as no one else stepped forward to challenge Mayor Patty Lent. With no others in the race, no primary is needed and Lent and Best will square off in the general election.
“I felt compelled to run when I saw that nobody was stepping up to challenge the mayor on the issues our city faces,” Best said. “I also felt compelled to continue the fight I started in 2011 to fight for our city’s workers who have been let down time and time again and are demoralized. We need to continue to support those who provide services to our citizens.”
Speculation about a Best campaign has been in the wind for months, but still came as a surprise to some due to the last-minute nature of the filing. It seemed that even Best wasn’t sure about filing for office midday Friday.
In addition to his Navy career and stint with FDNY, Best formerly owned a pest control business. He currently owns a handful of refurbished residential properties throughout the city and an office building at the downtown corner of 11th Street and Park Avenue.
Best is perhaps most well known for his “Cut the Fat” campaign at city hall a couple of years ago and for spearheading a volunteer effort last year to completely refurbish and revamp Bremerton’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Ivy Green Cemetery.
Best joined FDNY on Sept. 11, 2004, and returned to Bremerton in November 2006. Overall, he has called Bremerton home since coming here with the Navy at the age of 17 in 1990.
BREMERTON CITY COUNCIL
Council members Leslie Daugs (District 2) and sitting council president Greg Wheeler (District 4), drew no challengers.
Council colleagues Nick Wofford and Eric Younger are running against each other in District 7 following a voter approved reorganization of the board that reduces it from nine seats to seven.
Incumbent council member Faye Flemister will face her former colleague Roy Runyon in a District 6 race. Runyon resigned from the council last year after moving out of his former district.
Council member Adam Brockus drew two challengers in District 3. They are Jerry McDonald, a Harborside condo resident who has worked to promote Bremerton as a tourism destination, and Michael Strube, the executive director at the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce.
The District 5 race also includes three people and will require a primary. They are newcomers Dino Davis, Keith Ranburger and Deirdre McKeel. In District 1, Cynthia Triplett Galloway and Mike Sullivan will face each other in the general election.
Lastly, no one filed to run against Municipal Court Judge James Docter who will have another four-year term.
OTHER LOCAL RACES
At the Bremerton School District, Carolynn Perkins was unchallenged for Position 5. Seeking the Position 4 seat are Alyson Rotter and Wendy Stevens.
Port of Bremerton Commissioner Larry Stokes drew no challenger in District. Cassie Magill is also unchallenged at the Port of Illahee in District 6. The District 3 seat, though, is being sought by James Aho and Mike Mantzke.
In North Perry Water District 13, the Position 1 post is being sought by Stephanie Marone and Rodger McCourt. Glenn Patterson faces no challenger for Position 1 at Sunnyslope Water District 16.