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.”
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 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 who I am, 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 to put out there. They didn’t buy into negative campaigning. Obviously, with these results, they’ve said they believe in me. And now’s the time for action.”