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Bremerton lawyer makes bid for county seat
Ed Wolfe, a Bremerton lawyer and former U.S. State Department official, announced this week he will file to run for the County Commission for Central Kitsap in 2014.
The filing period isn’t until May. The primary will be Aug. 5, and the general election will be Nov. 4.
The position is being vacated early — the end of this year — by Josh Brown, who is leaving to become executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council. The Kitsap County Commission will appoint an interim successor, a Democrat. The appointee will have to run in and win the 2014 election to continue serving on the commission.
“After careful consideration and discussion with my wife Wendy, and many trusted friends and supporters, I’ve decided to run for Kitsap County commissioner in 2014,” said Wolfe, a Republican. “I’ve spent years living and working in our community, and believe now is the right time to take this next step to serve Kitsap County as commissioner.”
Wolfe, whose only other bid for elective office was an unsuccessful run against Bremerton Municipal Court Judge James Docter a few years ago, has a long history of political activity.
“You can see from my pattern, I really enjoy this process,” he said. “It’s part of my DNA. It started in my 20s working for a member of Congress. I got the bite then and it hasn’t gone away.”
Wolfe said he has a good relationship with all three county commissioners and is more than likely to be friends with whatever candidate or candidates the Democrats put forward. But, he emphasized this week that he intends to win a seat on the commission.
“I said to myself and my family and close friends that have encouraged me to run, if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna win it,” Wolfe said. “I don’t have any positions or papers or campaign plans right now, but I will in January. I’m in this to win.”
While Wolfe wasn’t ready to offer many specifics about his campaign plans this week, he clearly thinks he will be a good candidate.
“I think I can contribute to county government through this vehicle,” he said. “What that means, I really can’t say right now, but I think I can add something to the mix of the commissioners. It just feels right. I have a passion for my community. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that based on my record.”
Wolfe, 66, received his B.A. in 1969 from West Virginia University and his J.D. in 1977 from George Mason University School of Law. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969-71.
From 1972-74, Wolfe was field manager at Coca Cola USA in Atlanta, Ga. He was senior legislative assistant to Rep. G. William Whitehurst, R-Va., 1976-78; and an associate in the firm of Steele and Utz in Washington, D.C., 1978-1980. He served as policy and program consultant for the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1981, and was legislative representative to the United States Tuna Foundation in 1981-82.
In the U.S. Department of State, he was special adviser for international affairs in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs from 1982-83, and in 1983 was appointed deputy assistant secretary of state for Oceans and Fisheries Affairs. After 1984, he held the rank of ambassador when representing the United States at international conferences and meetings on fish and wildlife matters.
He founded Wolfe Law Offices in 1997, specializing in personal injury, employment discrimination, probate and estate planning, real estate and business disputes, and wrongful death. He served as president of the Kitsap County Bar Association. He was appointed judge pro tem in Kitsap County District Court and the cities of Bremerton, Bainbridge Island and Gig Harbor.
Wolfe’s civic involvements include Rotary, Boys & Girls Club, Olympic College Foundation, Puget Sound Naval Bases Association and the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, he served as county chairman for the Rob McKenna for Governor Campaign, helping McKenna win 50.13 percent of the vote in Kitsap County.
“I look forward in the months ahead to sharing more about my ideas that draw on my business, government, and legal experiences and that support a bipartisan approach to our county government,” Wolfe said. “It’s time to put my experience serving our country, local families and taxpayers to work in Kitsap County.”