It took Republican precinct committee officers (PCOs) from the 26th District about three hours on Dec. 4 to select the top three candidates to replace Jan Angel in the state House of Representatives.
They came up with either a technology consultant, filmmaker or attorney — all from Gig Harbor — to become her replacement.
After casting ballots seven times, the PCOs came up with Jesse Young, Adam Berman and Doug Cloud, who finished first, second and third, respectively. The meeting was held at the Givens Community Center in Port Orchard.
The candidates will face the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners and Pierce County Council, who will select the person to fill Angel’s vacancy at a joint meeting. A date has not yet been scheduled. Angel, the 26th District state representative, defeated Sen. Nathan Schlicher for the district’s state senate seat in November.
Before the meeting, fliers from the Republican Liberty Caucus in the 26th Legislative District (and signed by Tony Stephens), were distributed that listed Berman as its top choice followed by Young, Cloud and Spencer Hutchins. Stephens was elected as chair over the night’s proceedings.
But despite the fliers, the PCOs chose Young as their top selection.
It took the PCOs four ballots to pick Young as the top choice. On the first three ballots, none of the candidates got a majority of the 51 votes cast. Young was the top vote-getter on each of the first three ballots with 22 votes. He locked up the group’s top choice with 27 votes on the fourth ballot.
Young, a Gig Harbor resident, ran twice for Congress and works as a technology consultant.
“It’s humbling, especially after the process we went through, but it’s encouraging just to know enough people think you can make a difference and be a positive influence,” Young said after the meeting. “If I am appointed, then I will be effective on what I advocated to the group here tonight.”
Young said he can bring some business experience to the House on behalf of the district.
“If you look at what Olympia has, it does have a lot of my skill-set representatives,” he said. “If you look at the 26th District located between Tacoma and Seattle and there is an opportunity to court a lot of high-tech jobs that are well paying that can fit this community.”
Young said his experience can help him “walk across the aisle” and help benefit the district.
Adam Berman, a filmmaker from Gig Harbor, needed just one ballot to become the second choice. His closest competiton was Spencer Hutchins and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Batallion Chief Doug Richards with nine votes each.
Richards had 20 votes, Cloud got 14 and Hutchins had 13 on the first vote for the third choice. Hutchins withdrew his name, and Cloud, a Gig Harbor attorney, became the group’s third pick with 25 votes to Richard’s 24 on the final ballot.
Duane Hatch, who was also vying for consideration to fill Angel’s post, received the least votes of the six candidates during the night.
Kitsap County Republican Party Chair Chris Tibbs said the party is thrilled to have participated in the selection process and hopes for a successful and victorious new year.
“We have three solid candidates,” said Tibbs.