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Democrats want Daugs to replace Brown on county commission

Leslie Daugs - Courtesy photo
Leslie Daugs
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Bremerton City Councilwoman Leslie Daugs has been selected by Kitsap County Democrats to be their first choice to replace Josh Brown on the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.

It took numerous ballots for a majority of the Democratic precinct officers to decide on Daugs, but the picture was clear that she had their support following a long meeting Monday evening.

"I think I was chosen because the Democrats know I have experience working with local governments," she said. "And they know I have what it takes to get the job done and hold on to the job in the next election cycle."

Daugs has been on the Bremerton City Council for two years. She was just recently re-elected to another two-year term in November.

Daugs also said her longterm relationship with the Kitsap County Democratic Party helped her have the advantage.

"I've been active with the local Democrats for more than 10 years," she said. "They know me and I have a relationship with the party."

The party now hands the remaining two commissioners a list of their three top choices. Besides Daugs, who is the top choice, Irene Bowling, a local businesswoman and piano teacher, came in second, and Linda Streissguth, a manager with Puget Sound Energy, was third.

In all, seven Democrats sought the position. The others were former Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman, Richard Huddy, former executive director of the CAPRI heart and Lung Institute, Silverdale attorney Rob MacDermid, and Silverdale water commissioner John Poppe.

Current central area commissioner Josh Brown is leaving the position Dec. 31 to become the executive director for the Puget Sound Regional Council. The remaining commissioners, Rob Gelder and Charlotte Garrido, will now make the decision who will replace Brown. They will interview Daugs, Bowling and Streissguth and then name Brown's replacement in January.

Daugs said if the historical pattern regarding replacements to elected seats repeats itself, commissioners will name her as the replacement.

"The top one going in is usually who gets the job," she said.

If that happens, Daugs said she will immediately resign her position on the Bremerton City Council and her job as a campus security officer with the Bremerton School District.

"The Bremerton Charter doesn't allow anyone to hold two elected positions at one time," she said. "Even thought technically this is an appointment, it would not be possible to do both jobs. And I would not keep my job with the school district so that I can focus on my job as a county commissioner."

Daugs said she is prepared to run for the commission seat in 2014. To date, one Republican, Bremerton Attorney Ed Wolfe, has announced his intention to run for the seat.

Daugs said one of her first goals will be to see the Central Kitsap Community Campus be developed. The campus, between Silverdale Way and Randall Way,  is the home to the YMCA and is being considered as the site for a new library and performing arts center.

If Gelder and Garrido can't agree on the person to replace Brown, Gov. Jay Inslee will make the appointment.

Streissguth was ahead on the first two ballots, but did not get a majority. After each vote, the bottom vote-getter would be dropped from consideration.

Kitsap County Democratic Party Chairwoman Katherine Woods said she was pleased with the party's work.

"Participation was great," said Woods. "We had 89 percent turnout of our resident PCOs."

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