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County incumbents eye 2006 ballot

Kitsap County incumbents who are on the ballot in 2006 plan to run for re-election, indicating a sense of continuity for local government.

Assessor Jim Avery, Auditor Karen Flynn, Clerk Dave Peterson, Coroner Greg Sandstrom, Prosecuting Attorney Russ Hauge and Sheriff Steve Boyer all say they were inclined to run for another term.

But all stopped short of a formal declaration, since that requires filing a financial statement.

“I love this job,” Boyer said. “They pay me to help the community and not stick my foot in my mouth too far.”

Flynn, who is running for her sixth term, has faced no opposition in three of her five previous elections.

Hauge, Peterson and Avery have also run unopposed.

Flynn said it is common for county officials to run unopposed in smaller counties, but it does occur in larger ones like Kitsap.

“If government is running pretty normally with no problems or controversy. thnn officials will run unopposed,” she said.

Those choosing to oppose an incumbent also face financial obstacles. Aside from the filing fee — which is 1 percent of the yearly salary — running a campaign that reaches 140,000 registered voters can be quite costly.

This, according to Peterson, discourages frivolous candidacies.

Unopposed candidates, on the other hand, only need to pay filing fees and advertise as much as they feel is necessary.

They also do not have to appear at candidate forums.

Each judge on the three-member Kitsap County District Court — Marilyn Paja, James Riehl and Daniel Phillips — also runs for re-election this year.

The county commissioners may nominate a judge for a proposed fourth position sometime during the year, but that person would also have to face voters in the fall.

Superior Court positions are up in 2008.

All county officials run affiliated with a party, although there is room on the ballot for independent and write-in candidates.

At this point, the county’s sole contested race is for the Republican nomination for commissioner district 3, with Jack Hamilton of Silverdale challenging incumbent Patty Lent.

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