PORT ORCHARD — The race between incumbent and challenger for the at-large seat on the Port Orchard City Council had all the markings of being a tight contest.
On one side, Councilmember Clancy Donlin carried the advantage of incumbency. On the other side was challenger Jay Rosapepe, a former South Kitsap School District board member who built up name familiarity with his plentiful blue and yellow yard signs staked across the city.
But when results from the county’s Election Division were posted online shortly after 8 p.m., Nov. 7, it quickly became apparent the City Council will welcome a new member; Rosapepe took a clear lead over incumbent Donlin with a 72.1 percent to 27.5 percent margin, or 1,152-440 votes. (Update on Nov. 10: Rosepepe captured 71.1 percent with 1,280 votes. Donlin trailed at 28.6 percent, or 514 votes.)
The challenger said he believes voters want a councilmember who is engaged and participates in the business of the city and council.
“The citizens of Port Orchard want a vibrant and livable downtown where they can take their families,” Rosapepe said. “I believe the voters want a servant leader who is approachable and is willing to hear the concerns of all citizens, consider the possibilities and act responsibly with an eye to the future.”
Donlin, on the losing end of the vote, said he wants to thank Port Orchard’s citizens for the opportunity to serve on the council for two years.
“I enjoyed the ride and learned a mountain of things I would never have otherwise,” Donlin said. “I’m grateful.”
Rosapepe, transportation director for SKSD, touted his experience during the campaign as a school board member, business manager and community volunteer.
Donlin also has a business background. He owns a kitchen design and space planning business, and has run a number of other small businesses.
The election race for Port Orchard City Council’s Position 6 also was a comfortable affair. Incumbent Fred Chang easily turned back Maureen Wheeler’s challenge by winning with a 63.2 percent to 36.4 percent margin, or a 1,047-603 vote result. (Update on Nov. 10: Chang 64.1 percent, with 1,202 votes; Wheeler 35.6 percent, with 667 votes.)
Wheeler was a member of the city’s police department for more than 20 years. She most recently was a public safety officer with the department. Chang works for the state Department of Transportation in Seattle and has a background in communications, public relations and software development.