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Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent cruises to victory
Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent cruised to re-election Tuesday night by earning 2,664 votes, or 66.8 percent of the total.
Challenger Todd Best, meanwhile, only garnered 1,298 votes, or 32.5 percent.
Tuesday's vote counts reflect 30 of 33 completed precincts. Remaining ballots will be counted in the next few days, but are unlikely to make much of a difference, let alone sway the outcome.
Shortly after hearing the results at an election night rally at Rice Fergus Miller, directly across the street from city hall, Lent described the election victory as a landslide. She also acknowledged that she had been nervous ever since Best signed up as a candidate just 25 minutes before the filing deadline back in May.
"Because I didn't know why he registered," Lent said. "But it forced me to be on my game and do even more representation. That's where I've been all these last few months."
Lent went on to thank all of her supporters for sign waving, helping with mailers and more.
"With all the things we've done from Day One, this is more than those numbers reflect," she said of her win. "This means we've got a bright future and we've got exciting things that you will not believe are going to happen in the next four years."
Down the street at Best's campaign headquarters, inside the back room of Boston's Deli and Pizza, the mood was somewhat different, but far from somber. While Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" played on the restaurant's loudspeakers, Best told his supporters he was proud of them.
"We walked in together and we'll walk out together, with our heads held high," he said.
Best later said he was very surprised by the wide margin in the election.
"Based on what I was hearing while I was out door-belling, what was being talked about by key people throughout different neighborhoods, I'm really surprised," he said. " But the voters have spoken and they're the ultimate authority. So, to me, that's what matters, is the voters have spoken."
Best said he was proud he stepped up to the plate and asked questions, debated the mayor and "took my lashes as they came."
"We did our best and made a lot of good points," he said. "The points we made are very powerful. You don't have to belong to your local country club to run for local office."
Best also said he wouldn't rule out another run for mayor in four years.
"Four years is gonna go by quick," he said. "I'm only 40 years old, a young guy, and I've got a lot of energy. I've got a great life and it's not like I was running because I need a job. I was running because I love Bremerton want to affect good, forward-looking change.
Best didn't dismiss the possibility of running for Kitsap County Commissioner in District 3, either. In the meantime, he said he plans to sleep in a bit on Wednesday morning, close out his first campaign for elected office and catch his breath.