Today, the Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee fulfilled its constitutional duty to draw up a list of three names to fill the vacancy created by State Representative Drew Hansen’s move to the Washington State Senate, choosing Brynn Felix, Greg Nance, and Leiyomi Preciado as its nominees for the position.
Meeting at the Filipino-American Association of Kitsap County, a special nominating caucus of more than fifty Democratic precinct committee officers (PCOs) from the 23rd Legislative District heard from a total of six candidates interested in the appointment before casting ballots to decide who the party’s nominees would be.
The party’s rules for vacancies specify that lists of nominees be ranked, so PCOs took votes to determine who would be ranked first, second, and third.
Brynn Felix, who was previously nominated by the party for the county commission vacancy that was filled by Christine Rolfes and the State Senate vacancy that was filled by Drew Hansen, won the initial vote to be ranked first.
She’s hoping that the third time is the charm.
Felix is the general counsel for Peninsula Community Health Services, a federally qualified health center serving Kitsap County, Mason County, and rural Pierce CountA rty. She previously clerked for Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu and worked at the law firm of Lane Powell as an associate. She has earned four degrees, including a law degree from Boston University.
Greg Nance — a marathoner, youth mentor, and self-described lifelong conservationist — was ranked second by the PCOs after two further rounds of balloting. He is the CEO of Run Far Foundation, “a nonprofit building youth resilience coast-to-coast,” and garnered national attention for running across the country several years ago after recovering from alcohol use disorder. Nance was a nominee for the Kitsap County Commission vacancy along with Felix and Rolfes.
Leiyomi Preciado won the vote to be ranked third. Preciado is a certified peer counselor and community advocate who has survived domestic violence, homelessness, and depression. She is a proud transwoman of color who ran for Kitsap County Commissioner last year. State Representative Tarra Simmons endorsed Preciado and offered introductory remarks on her behalf.
Three other candidates competed in the special nominating caucus: School board member Drayton Jackson, state committeemember Chris Cancialosi, and John Gibbons, the President of the Washington State Dental Association.
The results of the five rounds of balloting by the PCOs were as follows:
Round #1: First name on list of nominees
58 votes cast by PCOs
- Brynn Felix: 36 votes
- Greg Nance: 14 votes
- Leiyomi Preciado: 5 votes
- Chris Cancialosi: 2 votes
- Drayton Jackson: 1 vote
- There were no votes for John Gibbons
Felix received an outright majority of votes and accordingly, there was no run-off.
Round #2: Second name on list of nominees
55 votes cast by PCOs
- Greg Nance: 27 votes
- Leiyomi Preciado: 16 votes
- Drayton Jackson: 8 votes
- Chris Cancialosi: 4 votes
- There were no votes for John Gibbons
No candidate received a majority, so a run-off was held between Nance and Preciado.
Round #3: Second name on list of nominees (run-off)
57 votes cast by PCOs
- Greg Nance: 34 votes
- Leiyomi Preciado: 23 votes
Round #4: Third name on list of nominees
56 votes cast by PCOs
- Leiyomi Preciado: 31 votes
- Drayton Jackson: 17 votes
- Chris Cancialosi: 7 votes
- John Gibbons: 1 vote
Within the next few days or weeks, the three-member Kitsap County Commission (Christine Rolfes, will appoint either Felix, Nance, or Preciado to the Washington State House of Representatives as Representative Tarra Simmons’ new seatmate. The commission is expected to interview all three nominees prior to making a selection. The appointee will serve out the remainder of Drew Hansen’s term, which will include the 2024 short legislative session that begins in January.