The races for Kitsap County Commissioner don’t have quite the drama they may have had in past campaigns, with only one of three seats in play this year.
Rob Gelder, the incumbent in District 1, could have faced a challenger. However, no one filed to contest the seat in the August 2 primary. Ed Wolfe’s District 3 seat won’t be on the ballot for more than two years. That leaves only Charlotte Garrido’s seat in District 2 — but her District 2 seat is getting plenty of attention. Garrido, who prefers Democratic Party, faces three challengers — including one from her own party.
Those challengers include Roger Gay, a longtime activist who prefers the Independent Party; Chris Tibbs, a Republican who may pose the most serious threat to Garrido’s seat; and finally Dino Davis, a fellow Democrat and sitting Bremerton City Council member.
Here are short snapshots of the candidates and their backgrounds. In the one contested race, District 2, the top two will advance to the general election on November 8.
Charlotte Garrido (prefers Democratic Party): Garrido, the incumbent in Commissioner District 2, also has elective experience as a parks commissioner and as a precinct officer. Her professional experience includes teaching, small business ownership and membership in both the American Planning Association and the Washington Boundary Review Board Association.
In her official campaign statement, she said, “Kitsap County is a wonderful place to live, work and play. Our future depends on a strong economy, healthy environment and local people working together. As your county commissioner, these are my priorities. I champion win-win solutions every day.”
Roger Gay (Prefers Independent Party): Gay has lived in South Kitsap County for more than 32 years. He retired from the U.S. Navy and from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. In the late 1980s, he was a member of Puget Sound Search and Rescue and also served as a Kitsap County reserve deputy Sheriff. He served on the NASCAR Track Committee and the Minterbrook Watershed Committee. He has an associate degree from Olympic College in food service, retail management and industrial trades. He graduated from Leadership Kitsap in 1984.
Gay said he tries to ask the questions that any taxpayer would want the answers to. Those might include, “Who really is paying for a project?” amd, “Are taxpayers really benefitting?” Gay said he believes in making decisions that make both financial and common sense. Kitsap County, he said, faces transportation, infrastructure and growth issues that require common sense solutions, not just to curry political support from special interests.
Christopher Tibbs (Prefers Republican Party): Tibbs already has considerable political and elective experience, having served as chairman of the Kitsap County Republican Party from 2012 to 2016, as an executive board member of the Washington State Republican Party, and a precinct committee officer. He landed the endorsement of former Washington Governor John Spellman.
“Kitsap County deserves energetic leadership and fresh perspectives to bring our community together, strengthen the economy, and improve our quality of life,” he said. “My record of accomplishments demonstrates that I have the knowledge, skills and relationships to move Kitsap County forward.”
He sees it as a priority to strengthen job security and employment opportunities.
“Sound budgets and prudent policymaking are important, but steadfast representation of the people is essential,” he said. “I am committed to being accessible, responsive and, most of all, accountable.”
Dino Davis (Prefers Democratic Party): Davis is currently vice president on the Bremerton City Council. He has been a resident of Kitsap County for more than 15 years, and is a realtor. He also represents the City of Bremerton on the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board, as well as the Transportation Policy Board, and is currently the vice president of the City of Bremerton’s Public Works Committee. Davis and his wife Christine live in the Union Hill neighborhood with their dogs.
In his campaign statement, Davis said, “as an elected leader and community member, I have been engaged at the local, county and regional levels of collaborative government. I have seen the negative effects of futile leadership, and leadership firsthand, and I believe I can bring a new perspective to meeting the challenges facing District 2 and Kitsap County.”
Davis says he will being an entrepreneurial style of management to solve local issues. Those critical issues include traffic, public safety, improving the county’s public parks system.