Ed Wolfe to assume county leadership role

The attorney and former State Department official will chair of the Board of County Commissioners in January.

Attorney Ed Wolfe will take over as chairperson of the Board of County Commissioners in January.

Wolfe, a former Senate-appointed U.S. State Department deputy, opened a general law practice in Kitsap County in 1997. In 2014 he closed his firm, Wolfe Law Offices, after being elected to represent District 3 in central Kitsap. He narrowly defeated incumbent Democrat Linda Streissguth, who was appointed following an unplanned vacancy.

In an interview Tuesday, Wolfe said his role on the local governing body, after decades in federal government and in his civil litigation practice, is “the most rewarding job I’ve had in my career.”

Wolfe, a political centrist who has said he wanted to bring “balance” to county government, listed his top three priorities for the near future: securing funding for major transporation projects, making communities in Silverdale and other parts of the county more walkable and connected, and building a new courthouse. The aging Port Orchard law building, which houses the county’s District and Superior courts, was built in the 1930s.

Wolfe will take over for Robert Gelder in the leadership post, which revolves each year between the three board members. Gelder will continue representing District 1 in northern Kitsap County.

The governing Board of County Commissioners is responsible for county tax policies, the construction of courthouses and jails, the layout of county roads, and other roles outlined in state law.

County commissioners serve four-year terms. Wolfe, who ran unapposed this year, will hold his seat until at least 2022. Commissioners Gelder and Charlotte Garrido are up for reelection in 2020.

Wolfe grew up in Norfolk, Va. and attended George Mason University law school.

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