Kitsap County Democrats passed over some well-known local politicians in their final three selections for county commissioner to replace Rob Gelder.
As expected, state Sen. Christine Rolfes was selected. But passed over were Bainbridge Island City Councilmembers Joe Deets and Clarence Moriwaki. Instead, the party picked Brynn Felix and Greg Nance.
Whoever wins out will take the place of Gelder, who has moved on to Thurston County.
Rolfes is state senator for the 23rd District that runs from BI to part of Bremerton. She has been elected six times. She is chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and has helped guide the legislature to adopt four-year balanced budgets without a special session for five straight years, which had not been done since the 1800s. A former BI councilmember, she has worked for over two decades to protect open spaces salmon habitat; expand workforce training and childcare opportunities; and support the military, affordable housing and health care.
Felix is general counsel for Peninsula Community Health Services, directing all legal matters, and created a partnership connecting patients with health-harming legal needs to free counsel. She was a litigator and clerked for Justice Mary I. Yu at the state Supreme Court. Prior to that she was a teacher and worked to advance marriage equality, voting rights and criminal justice with the ACLU. She lives in Suquamish and volunteers in the tribe’s emergency management and community advisory council. She is also on the county’s housing task force and Community Resources board member.
Nance is CEO of Run Far Foundation, a nonprofit that builds after-school running clubs to help young people find purpose, have fun and stay healthy through community service. He ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans in a fundraiser for youth mental health. He previously founded Dyad Mentorship and Moneythink, organizations that helped students earn over $27 million in university scholarships. President Obama recognized Moneythink in 2012.
Besides Moriwaki and Deets, others passed over included: Tami Bowen of Hansville, owner of CB Nuts; Lou Krukar, who has lived in North Kitsap for 37 years; Steven Marshese, director of the Seattle Office of Labor Standards; Michael Robinson, who works for the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management; Melody Sky Weaver of Poulsbo; and Danielle S Rueb (Castillejo)