The election season booted up Monday morning as filing week officially opened. Candidates for the Nov. 3 election are able to file with the Pierce County Auditor from 9 a.m. Monday to 4:30 p.m. Friday (May 15) .
On the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas, there are four open offices on the Peninsula School District Board of Directors and three open offices on the Gig Harbor City Council.
More candidates may file throughout the week.
Peninsula School District, District 1
Current board president Matt Wilkinson has filed to retain his seat. He has been on the board since 2007. He is involved in the community with suicide prevention and parks appreciation. He works at CSC Bangor in computer support.
Marcia E. Harris has also filed for the seat. She is president of the Peninsula Schools Education Foundation. She worked for 37 years as a public school administrator, 11 of which she worked in the Peninsula district.
Peninsula School District, District 2
Deborah Krishnadasan announced her candidacy in March. She is running for the two-year unexpired term of Wendy Wojtanowicz.
Wojtanowicz is not finishing her term because she has moved out of District 2 to another section of Gig Harbor. She has been on the board for eight years.
“I’ve served a lot of years now, so I’m going to step off for awhile,” she said.
Candidate Krishnadasan, who worked in the oil/gas and high-tech sector for 15 years, is the mother of three children in the district.
"My desire to enhance my own children’s educational experience has evolved into a strong passion to help every single child that walks through the doors of a Peninsula school,” Krishnadasan said in a news release.
Peninsula School District, District 3
Incumbent Rand Wilhelmsen filed for re-election. Wilhelmsen, a former teacher, was first appointed to the board in 2010.
Wilhelmsen served on the district’s audit committee and also serves on several bank boards. He is senior vice president in the investment department for West Coast Bank.
Peninsula School District Board of Directors, District 4
Last week, incumbent Harlan Gallinger announced he would not run for another term. Now, there are three candidates vying for the seat.
Leslie Harbaugh announced her candidacy on Monday, the first day of filing.
Harbaugh, a Gig Harbor resident for 13 years, has been a volunteer at Artondale Elementary and Kopachuck Middle School.
“These were valuable learning experiences,” she said, “which taught me that, to find real and impactful solutions, we must include all stakeholders in the conversation.”
Her resume includes Artondale PTA co-president; Kopachuck PTA secretary and vice president; Parent District Council Representative; and 2014 Levy/Bond Campaign co-chair.
Zachary Smith also filed to run for the open seat. Smith is the Chief Operating Officer at Evergreen Eye Center.
Smith says his key intiatives are STEM and Early Learning programs that will prepare students for an increasingly competitive job market. He is a supporter of sports, the arts and other extracurricular activities for students.
Candidate Garth Jackson also filed for the seat.
Gig Harbor City Council, Position 5
Al Abbott, owner of CarrotStick Marketing, is challenging sitting council member Ken Malich.
Abbott is a first-time candidate. He moved to Gig Harbor after working in advertising in both New York City and Los Angeles. In gig Harbor, he has been involved with the Downtown Waterfront Alliance, the Rotary Club and the Gig Harbor Film Festival. During the campaign he will be at the Harbor General Store on Tuesdays to meet with citizens and share his campaign goals.
Malich served on the council in the 1970s and the 2000s. He worked as a commercial fisherman for 20 years and is a Vietnam Veteran. Malich was born and raised in Gig Harbor.
Gig Harbor City Council, Position 6
Incumbent Michael Perrow has filed to retain his seat on the council. He was first elected to the council in 2011, and prior to that he served on the Parks Commission.
Perrow has lived in Gig Harbor for 35 years.
"Growing up in Gig Harbor is an experience I deeply cherish, and one I want my children and future generations to experience,” he said in a news release.
Activist Jeni Woock will challenge Perrow. Woock spearheads the group Citizens for the Preservation of Gig Harbor. The citizens group has been a vocal opposition in city issues such as building heights and the Millville code amendment.
“Hardly a week goes by without someone asking Jeni to run for city council. Many of our citizens have expressed concerns that their voices are not being heard by the majority of our current council,” her campaign statement said.
Rahna Lovrovich have also filed to retain her seat, but does not have a challenger.