Sen. Jan Angel withdraws from 26th District race

Port Orchard Republican incumbent throws support to Marty McClendon of Gig Harbor.

Bill Scheidler

Bill Scheidler

PORT ORCHARD — Incumbent state Sen. Jan Angel, a Port Orchard Republican, has withdrawn her re-election bid as a candidate for the 26th Legislative District’s Senate seat.

Angel, the 71-year-old legislator whose public service career encompassed 18 years as a Kitsap County commissioner, state representative and state senator, withdrew her name just prior to the 5:30 p.m. May 18 close of candidate filing on Friday.

In her place, real estate broker and radio host Marty McClendon, 51, will carry the Republican banner in the upcoming election cycle. McClendon previously ran for state office in 2016 as a GOP candidate for lieutenant governor. He lost to Cyrus Habib, a Democrat.

Angel’s retirement sets the stage for an intriguing matchup between McClendon, who was endorsed by Angel as her replacement in the state Senate, and Emily Randall, a Port Orchard Democrat, who has been active doorbelling in the district early in the campaign. Also in the hunt is Bill Scheidler, an independent from Port Orchard, who filed for the seat on Wednesday, May 16.

“It has been my extreme honor to serve the people of Kitsap County and the 26th District for the past 18 years …” Angel said in a news release from Olympia. “Thank you for allowing me to be of service.”

Angel gave no indication in the release for her change of heart as a candidate.

Angel, who was first elected as a Kitsap County commissioner in 1999 and served two terms. She then captured a 26th District state representative seat and ran for re-election twice, serving five years in the House.

When the district’s Senate seat opened in 2013, she ran and won in a special election that was noted for setting a state record as the most expensive legislative race ever in Washington state. Approximately $3.1 million was spent in the campaign by Angel and her Democratic opponent, Nathan Schlicher. He was appointed to the Senate seat in January 2013 following Derek Kilmer’s election to the 6th Congressional District. Her victory allowed the GOP to flip power in the Senate. Angel later was re-elected as the district’s state senator in 2014.

The Port Orchard legislator was the vice chair of the Senate Republican caucus and served as chair of the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee during her time as part of the Senate’s Majority Coalition. She currently is the ranking Republican of the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

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