DeGard pulls out of Central Kitsap commissioner's race

Only weeks after a dramatic declaration to challenge Kitsap County Commissioner Tim Botkin in upcoming elections, Dr. Paulette DeGard has withdrawn.

She explained the decision was based on financial considerations — mostly private.

“We had some things fall through,” she said without elaborating. “And we’ll be moving to Seattle where my husband has found work as an engineer. ... There’s not a lot (of jobs) over here,” she added ruefully. “It’s ironic that some of the things I wanted to change as a commissioner are exactly the things that have forced my withdrawal.”

Her husband has been a stay-at-home house spouse the last five years. But due to recent family financial setbacks, he has had to go back to work — in Seattle.

“I would sincerely like to thank all of those people who supported me

during my campaign. A number of people unselfishly gave their time and energy in the belief that there is a leadership void in Kitsap County that needs to be filled.

“If it were not for these family issues, the campaign would have been a

challenging and exciting series of events for me, in which I’m convinced I could have prevailed,” she said in a press release July 11. DeGard’s official campaign kick-off was June 28.

To run against Botkin in District 3, DeGard would have had to defeat fellow GOP candidate Patty Lent first. Lent is a Bremerton woman who works in the travel industry.

DeGard cited the issues of economic development and availability of

professional positions in Kitsap County, as well as the environment and the use of telecommunications, as issues which she will continue to champion as a private citizen.

She did not rule out running for some other public office, or eventually returning to Kitsap. Her run for commissioner was her first foray into politics.

In launching her campaign, she had stated “I am running for this position because it is obvious to me that there is a leadership void in Kitsap County. If you look at the record, you will see the current District 3 commissioner (Botkin) pays lip service to economic development and to the environment.”

DeGard has lived in the Northwest for 20 years and Kitsap County three years. She is a consultant to businesses — an “efficiency expert.”

DeGard was coordinator for the massive KitsapKids Playground at the Fairgrounds, which utilized thousands of volunteers to build the nearly $250,000 facility.

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