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England, Jara deserve shot in November; Jara best for position
The first endorsement released by the newly formed Bremerton Patriot editorial board wasn't exactly a slam dunk as members carefully weighed the qualifications of the four candidates for the Bremerton City Council District 4 race.
Trent England, Carlos Jara, Roy Runyon and Virginia Starr are each to be commended for their willingness to run for local public office and serve their family, friends and neighbors.
Each brings a unique perspective to the issues facing what can be rightfully called the most diverse council district in the city, which made it difficult to decide which of the two should advance through the Aug. 21 primary election to the Nov. 6 general election.
However, after attending last week's Eggs and Issues candidate forum sponsored by the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce, the choice became clearer as England and Jara stepped to the forefront in the minds of the majority of the editorial board.
With one board member resigning earlier this week before casting their vote, the editor almost had to cast the deciding vote, but fortunately that didn't happen in this race.
One board member said, "I think that Trent England and Carlos Jara have a much better understanding of what it will take to continue Bremerton's revival."
That sentiment was echoed by the majority of the board, although Roy Runyon received accolades for "seeming to be a well-prepared candidate" by a couple of board members.
That contrasted to the comments of one board member who expressed disappointment in the way Runyon handled himself during the Eggs and Issues forum.
"Roy Runyon seems like a nice person, but this morning he seemed more interested in lobbing ideological and partisan policy jabs at Trent England than offering solutions," the board member said.
At the end of the debate, which was carried on mostly via e-mail, Jara came away with the board's final endorsement for the Bremerton City Council District 4 seat, but to say it was a tough decision would be an understatement as the board saw promise in both England and Jara.
"If I could vote in the race I would narrowly choose Trent over Carlos," one board member said.
Those in favor of Jara praised him for his willingness to listen to all sides and attempt to reach a compromise instead of holding to partisan or personal lines.
"He's a consensus builder, and that's at the top of my list," one board member said.
Two other board members chimed in that "At this point in the campaign we choose him for the District 4 position. He seems to best fit the need to help drive downtown redevelopment."
So with ballots already waiting to be mailed in, the Bremerton Patriot editorial board officially endorses Carlos Jara and Trent England to advance through the Aug. 21 primary and Jara to replace outgoing City Councilwoman Wendy Priest on the Bremerton City Council in the Nov. 6 general election.