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GOP favors tech consultant to replace Angel in House [Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash.]
[December 05, 2013]

GOP favors tech consultant to replace Angel in House [Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash.]

(Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, WA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 05--PORT ORCHARD -- Jesse Young, a Gig Harbor technology consultant who twice ran for Congress, became the 26th Legislative District Republican Party's top choice to replace Jan Angel in the state House.

It took four votes to get there, since party rules require a majority vote. On the fourth vote, Young received 27 of the 50 votes.

Adam Berman, a Gig Harbor filmmaker, was the party's second choice, needing only one ballot to nab the next spot.

Doug Cloud, a Gig Harbor attorney with a history of congressional races, was the party's third choice after a 25-24 deciding vote against South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Batallion Chief Doug Richards.

The final decision will be made in a joint meeting of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners and the Pierce County Council. The counties do not have to make Young their choice, but in the past five appointment processes, all Democratic Party replacements, county leaders have gone with the first pick.

The counties have not set a date to make the replacement and might wait until after Angel officially resigns from her Position 1 House seat and is sworn in as a state senator. That is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Kitsap County Courthouse.

Once the counties choose a successor to Angel, it will be the final act in a series that was started by a Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks. In March 2012, Dicks announced he was retiring from Congress. He was replaced by former state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.

Another Gig Harbor Democrat, Nathan Schlicher, was appointed to replace Kilmer. Schlicher lost his bid to stay in the Senate for the final year of the term to which Kilmer was elected, losing in the November election to Angel, R-Port Orchard. Both Angel and her replacement in the House will be up for re-election in November 2014.

On Wednesday night, Young told the GOP committee officers at the Givens Community Center in Port Orchard his experience would serve residents well. "There are very few business professionals representing you in Olympia," he said. Young said the party leaders should consider what kind of careers they would want for their children a decade down the road.

Young led on every ballot before the deciding vote, but he didn't necessarily come in as the favorite.

The Republican Liberty Caucus in the 26th Legislative District issued a flier naming Berman as the group's top pick, followed by Young and Cloud. The letter was signed by Tony Stephens, whom the party elected chairman of the night's proceedings.

The candidates each gave five-minute speeches to make their final pitches.

Berman said he was tired of "liberal policies" eroding property rights and making it harder for individuals to prosper. He said Democratic policies were akin to "death by a thousand cuts." Cloud described the current climate as a "war for our own happiness and our own determination," that government was inhibiting peoples' rights to pursue happiness.

Richards, who twice ran against Larry Seaquist in the 26th's other House seat, joked that one of the reasons he sought the appointment was so he wouldn't have to run again against Seaquist, who attended Wednesday's GOP event. He also made the case for Republican principles. "I know what it's like as a homeowner to see my property taxes increase and my property rights decrease." Spencer Hutchins, a real estate broker who managed Angel's most recent campaign against Schlicher, said he wanted to repair the damage done to the state and nation. Duane Hatch, vice president of the Washington State Rifle & Pistol Association, nearly conceded during his speech, acknowledging that he only knew two people in the room.

The party leaders voted to amend the rules to throw out the vetting process that put six candidates forward in favor of nominations coming from the floor of the 52 party leaders on hand when the night began. The rule change did not net a change in the candidates themselves. The six candidates vetted by the party all were nominated.

___ (c)2013 the KitsapSun (Bremerton, Wash.) Visit the KitsapSun (Bremerton, Wash.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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