Rosendahl throws hat into Democrat race for CK county commissioner

A new candidate for the Kitsap County Commission District 2 (Central Kitsap) promises to bring increased technical knowledge to the position, along with a strong environmental background.

Nels Rosendahl, 49, a Bremerton resident and lead engineer for J.B. Engineering Consultants in Silverdale, announced he’ll run as a Democrat and face Josh Brown in the Sept. 19 primary.

The winner of that contest will oppose either Republican incumbent commissioner Patty Lent or Jack Hamilton.

“We need someone with some technical experience,” Rosendahl said.“There are a lot of things that we can do to take the burden off of the environment that we never have done.”

Rosendahl favors the proposed Nascar track in Kitsap County.

“Bremerton has a lot of issues,” he said. “Our kids have had high crime rates and bad graduation rates. This is connected to the success of the parents. If the parents are struggling, the kids are suffering.

“We need to have local job growth,” Rosendahl said. “The racetrack will put us in the national spotlight and encourage people to locate in Bremerton. There are a lot of benefits.”

Many Democrats express tacit support for the track while criticizing the funding proposal and opposing the use of any public money. Rosendahl thinks the funding package “needs some tweaks,” but is basically sound.

Rosendahl said he has strong backing in the real estate and development communities.

“I have done a lot of development work,” he said, “so I can work with developers and make sure we’re all on the same page.”

Brown, who declared his candidacy in February, did not know anything about Rosendahl or his positions, but said, “I have the support of mainstream and active Democrats and am ahead of the competition in fund-raising.”

“Josh is a courageous young man,” Rosendahl said. “But he doesn’t have much experience. He doesn’t know about the constraints faced by a business owner or the responsibility to customers.”

Rosendahl is married and has two children. His wife works as a project manager at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Rosendahl does not have any current plans for campaign events, and is unsure whether he will even mount a Web site.

Those wishing to contact him or ask about his campaign can meet him directly, he plans to have “office hours” from 7:30 to 8 a.m. every weekday morning at Austin Chase Coffee in Silverdale.

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