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Gordon keeps Port of South Whidbey seat, Jenkins looks to future

The last of the November general election ballots have been tallied and Clinton resident Curt Gordon will keep his seat as a Port of South Whidbey commissioner.

It also means, according to Gordon, that there won’t be any major course changes at the port over the next four years, that existing efforts and focus will continue.

“I felt it (election results) was an endorsement from the public that we’re going in the right direction,” said Gordon, in an interview Thursday.

Gordon, the incumbent in the race for Position 3, claimed a sweeping victory over challenger Ed Jenkins. The Island County Elections Office’s final count Thursday, before the results are certified on Nov. 26, showed Gordon with 77.18 of the vote — 4,204 people — compared to Jenkins’ 22.82 percent or  1,243 people.

In an email to The Record, Jenkins said he lost for two reasons: that Gordon is too well-known in the community and because he was “defamed” by The Record in an endorsement editorial, published Oct. 19.

“The rebuttal probably had some effect but the damage was done,” wrote Jenkins, referring to a response Viewpoint published the following week.

Jenkins went on to say the support he did receive will “allow me to sit down with Curt and the others and discuss some reforms I pushed this election and in the past.”

Jenkins email contained a laundry list of issues he will push, from the formation of citizen advisory groups and greater accountability of grant money to a paper he plans to present to port officials “cautioning the push for more bus usage for tourists as being environmentally unsound. If ignored I will ask for an environmental study.”

Jenkins also said he’s not ruling out another run for a port seat in the future, saying it will depend on the district’s state.

“My hope is that there will be reform and I will not need to,” Jenkins wrote.

That, however, doesn’t appear likely.

“I’m even more sure of myself than I was before that I focus on economic development,” Gordon said.

This was Gordon’s third time battling it out with Jenkins for voter favor and he views his win at the polls a bit differently than his opponent.

Gordon said newspaper coverage didn’t have anything to do with his victory; he attempted to match his rivals campaign efforts and relied on voters’ own experience of the individual candidates to guide their decision.

“I felt like local voters knew what was going on,” he said.

 

Editor’s note: The Record stands by the accuracy of the editorial in question.

 

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