Steven Gardner, April 8, 2015, Kitsap Sun
Former Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman announced Wednesday that he will run for a seat on the Port of Bremerton board of commissioners.
Should he win it would mark a return to the port for Bozeman. In 2009 he resigned as mayor after seven years to become the port’s chief executive officer, a job he left in 2011. He said in a statement that he left for health reasons that have since been resolved.
Bozeman joins John Poppe, Silverdale Water District commissioner, in announcing a candidacy to replace Roger Zabinski on the port board. Zabinski announced in February that he would not seek re-election.
The port position is a nonpartisan race, but that doesn’t mean the parties ignore those races. In 2014 Bozeman and Poppe both sought the Democratic Party’s nomination to replace Josh Brown on the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.
Chris Tibbs, chairman of the Kitsap County Republican Party, said his party will be focusing on finding candidates for school boards and port positions as a way of creating a sort of “farm system” for candidates in partisan races. Tibbs said he thinks Republicans will field a candidate for the Port of Bremerton position.
“My priorities as a Port Commissioner will be to work to recruit new good-paying jobs to our community and to retain the Navy-based civil service jobs that are the backbone of our economy,” Bozeman said in his release. “We also must secure the State funding needed to support our ferry system so we can have more runs and better boats.”
Bozeman was Bremerton mayor 2002-09 and was among those encouraging the port to build a new marina in Bremerton. The marina was built after the port’s then commissioners passed what became a controversial property tax increase.
Port commissioners serve six-year terms and set policy and supervise the director, the position Bozeman held.
Candidates can’t formally file to run until the week of May 11-15, but they can register with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, which documents how much money a candidate raises and spends. Poppe has registered there. As of Wednesday Bozeman had not. Bremerton City Councilman Greg Wheeler has registered with the PDC for a re-election run.