All illustrations by Jessica Randklev.

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev.

We’re gonna go ahead and call in surprised on this one. Today Cary Bozeman announced that he will step down as mayor next month to take over as CEO of the Port of Bremerton. Last month I sat down with Mayor Bozeman to talk about Bremerton and his re-election bid against challenger Mike Shepherd. Here’s a brief excerpt from our conversation:

Why four more years?

I love my job. I’ve been in public service for 35 years. You like to write? I like to have the opportunity to create a better world for people.  It’s what gets me up in the morning. It’s what makes my life feel purposeful. If I don’t get re-elected I’ll go find something else to do in the public sector. I don’t believe in retirement.

What’s your vision for the next four years?

It’s keeping a steady course during a difficult time. Without a vibrant downtown, the perception of your community is that you’re not a very good investment. Have you driven through Aberdeen lately? Or Have you driven through Hoquiam? If you drive through their downtowns and you’re an investor and you’re looking for an opportunity to maybe make some money by investing in a development or something like that, you’re not going to do it. Because you’re going to say, “Look at this? These people can’t even manage their own downtown.”