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4 more years for Angel, Endresen

North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen talks with supporters Tuesday night at the Red Lion Hotel Silverdale at what turned out to be her victory party after early returns showed her with a nearly 4,000-vote lead over Republican challenger Scott Henden. - Photo by Sean Lamphere
North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen talks with supporters Tuesday night at the Red Lion Hotel Silverdale at what turned out to be her victory party after early returns showed her with a nearly 4,000-vote lead over Republican challenger Scott Henden.
— image credit: Photo by Sean Lamphere

Both incumbent Kitsap County commissioners up for re-election won this week — South Kitsap’s Jan Angel and North Kitsap’s Chris Endresen — won their challenges in Tuesday night’s general election.

Endresen defeated Kingston businessman Scott Henden by a margin of 41,334 votes (52.47 percent) to 37,509 (47.53 percent). Angel prevailed over her predecessor on the board of commissioners, Charlotte Garrido, 41,334 (53.04 percent) to 36,653 (46.80 percent).

The numbers were current as of Thursday morning but were not expected to change significantly, according to director of elections Dolores Gilmore.

Democrat Endresen, the senior commissioner, earned a third term while Republican Angel begins her second term.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Patty Lent, a Republican, was first elected in 2002 and will face voters again in two years.

In a time where the makeup of the board usually changes every two years, the continuity resulting from four years of no changes is rare. This, according to County Administrator Malcolm Fleming, is a good thing.

“It takes quite a while for people to learn the issues and all the players,” he said. “Right now, all of the commissioners are up to speed. We don’t have to spend any time in a learning process. Whenever you get someone new, it can take a while for the other board members to learn about how they approach things.”

This is seconded by local consultant William Palmer, himself a former director of the Department of Community Development. “With the exception of Chris Endresen, I felt that the commissioners have been struggling to get a grasp of how things work,” he said. “Now we can look forward to a time when all three commissioners have their feet on the ground. They’re running one of the bigger businesses in the county, and have given us a better-managed county courthouse.”

The tone of the two races differed, with the North Kitsap contest more heated. By contrast, the Angel/Garrido contest lacked such vitriol.

Said Garrido, “I was running as myself and with my range of skills. I don’t need to belittle anyone else.”

Henden consistently denied having anything to do with negative attacks, but claimed he could do nothing to stop them.

During the campaign, Endresen declined to address the attacks or mount a defensive strategy.

After the vote, however, she unleashed her frustration. “If the tables were turned, I would have made a statement against negative campaigning and publicly asked them to stop,” she said.

Henden responded by saying, “Both sides acted inappropriately,” while again disassociating himself from the anonymous attacks.

“If you have a difference with someone,” he said, “you should at least put your name on it.”

“Life goes on. The voters have spoken,” Henden said. “We’re disappointed, because Kitsap needs a change. Chris has polarized a lot of people, and has made a lot of people unhappy.”

Henden doesn’t know if he will run again. Likewise, Garrido may

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