Primary election results as of Tuesday night showed Linda Simpson, a Republican, leading the Kitsap Conty Commissioner District 2 race with 36.73 percent of the vote. Garrido, a Democrat, followed with 34.16 percent. Former Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, a Democrat, received 21.33 percent and Independent Kristine Danielson had 7.54 percent.
As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, 11,246 ballots had been counted.
Simpson said she was “thrilled” to be leading in early results, and was “happy and honored” to move on to the general election in November. Moving forward, she said she would double her efforts to get name recognition, a crucial point in securing a win against an incumbent commissioner, she said.
“When we started, I didn’t have the name recognition,” she said. “I’m just really competitive. We’re going to work together with everyone.”
Contacted after the numbers came in, Garrido said she knew voters faced a difficult test in a fiercely contested primary race. She said voters will have an “easier” choice to make in November, when it the election can be broken into partisan difference of Democrat against Republican.
“The four-way primary gave people a lot of choices,” Garrido said.
Garrido has been in office since 2009. She is serving her second term as Kitsap County Commissioner District 2, which includes South Kitsap and a small area of West Bremerton, having served previously from 1997-2001.
The incumbent commissioner said she looks forward to the general election, 91 days away, when she competes for votes against the Republican.
“There is clearly an obvious Democrat and Republican,” she said. “It makes it easier for people to understand we have similarities and differences.”
Simpson, a Navy worker, said she is no stranger to running as an underdog. In 2010, Simpson ran as a Republican in the 35th Legislative District for State Representative Position 2. She lost the race to Democrat Fred Finn by 3,819 votes out of more than 25,000 votes cast.
Simpson said she’s thankful for the campaign help she received in the primary.
“There are so many people who helped me put together the campaign we did,” she said.
Coppola, who joined the race for county commissioner in May, said he was happy for Simpson and Garrido. He also said the “voters had spoken.”