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There will be a mayor's race in Bremerton
Longtime Bremerton resident Todd Best, a U.S. Navy Gulf War veteran and former New York City firefighter, filed paperwork to run for mayor late Friday afternoon.
Best filed with only minutes to spare ahead of Friday's deadline as no one else stepped forward to challenge Mayor Patty Lent. With no others in the race, no primary is needed and Lent and Best will square off in the general election.
"I felt compelled to run when I saw that nobody was stepping up to challenge the mayor on the issues our city faces," Best said. "I also felt compelled to continue the fight I started in 2011 to fight for our city's workers who have been let down time and time again and are demoralized. We need to continue to support those who provide services to our citizens."
Speculation about a Best campaign has been in the wind for months, but still came as a surprise to some due to the last-minute nature of the filing. It seemed that even Best wasn't sure about filing for office midday Friday.
In addition to his Navy career and stint with FDNY, Best formerly owned a pest control business. He currently owns a handful of refurbished residential properties throughout the city and an office building at the downtown corner of 11th Street and Park Avenue.
Best is perhaps most well known for his "Cut the Fat" campaign at city hall a couple of years ago and for spearheading a volunteer effort last year to completely refurbish and revamp Bremerton's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Ivy Green Cemetery.
Best joined FDNY on Sept. 11, 2004, and returned to Bremerton in November 2006. Overall, he has called Bremerton home since coming here with the Navy at the age of 17 in 1990.