Port Orchard City Councilman Rob Putaansuu glanced at his watch during his mayoral campaign’s election-night party. “It’s 8:05,” Putaansuu said. “We’ll know really soon.”
Shortly thereafter, with a phone to his ear, Putaansuu learned the fate of his election campaign at 8:15 p.m. He’d won a convincing victory over incumbent Tim Matthes, capping the celebration by winning by a 62.9 percent to 36.7 percent margin.
Following a bear hug onstage with his family, the mayor-elect addressed the raucous crowd at the Port Orchard Public Market.
“I told myself I wasn’t going to go on the attack,” he said. “I told people time and time again that I had to be true to myself and true to my message. My message was to tell people who I am and what I’m going to accomplish. Obviously that resonated with voters.
“It’s time to heal our community, bring us together and stop the nonsense we’ve been having in our community for a number of years.”
A few minutes later, Putaansuu told the Independent that he is humbled by the outcome. “The citizens of Port Orchard responded to a positive message we put out there.
“They didn’t buy into negative campaigning. Obviously, with these results, they’ve said they believe in me. So, now’s the time for action.