As the state legislative session ground to a close, longtime 26th District Representative Pat Lantz (D-Gig Harbor) announced that she will not seek a seventh term.
In a press release issued by Lantz, she stated, "I believe it is time to turn my full attention to my family — my husband, my three children, and five wonderful grandchildren."
Within hours, former Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel announced that she would seek the seat Lantz is vacating. Lantz endorsed Abel, and said as a part of Abel’s press release, “Kim Abel understands the needs of our district, cares deeply about our families and communities and I am delighted to offer her my support.”
There had been some speculation when Abel declined to run for a second term as Mayor, that she would file for the county commission seat being vacated by Jan Angel. Instead, she will now face off against Angel, who announced her intention to challenge Lantz some months ago.
Lantz said she actually made the decision not to seek another term back in September, but didn’t want to announce her decision and be viewed as a lame duck during the legislative session.
That wasn’t really news to Angel, who said, “I had heard when I threw my hat in the ring that she (Lantz) was not running for another term.” Angel added, “The last eight years have given me a real good foundation. I understand the needs and issues of the 26th District.”
Without going into a lot of detail, I'll just say that as the guy who inherited what Kim Abel left behind in Port Orchard, I believe that Jan Angel is the most qualified of the two candidates — which is why I've endorsed her.