photo(5)Between the time he was called to dinner and finally took his seat, Thursday evening, I had a chance to catch up with former Bremerton mayoral candidate Carlos Jara. He was reorganizing his office when I called, cleaning up what became ground zero for his long-shot campaign for mayor.

From the beginning Jara — the youngest, least politically experienced, and final candidate to enter the five-person primary campaign — knew he was the underdog. But at the end of the day, he brought in 12 percent of the vote, earned the endorsement (along with Will Maupin) of the Kitsap Sun’s editorial board, and impressed finalist Patty Lent enough for her to proclaim that he would make a fine candidate for small-business liaison.

Here’s what we talked about:

On the election results:

I am a little bit surprised. I actually thought that the first four people would be closer on the vote. I was actually expecting it to be a little closer. I was actually thinking I would be one of the final two.

On why it wasn’t his time:

I think most of the voters, unfortunately, didn’t vote on the campaign … on the vision of the person. I think they voted more on name recognition. I think a lot of people just went on signs or whatever. People have already commented on that.

On the forums:

I actually spoke about something. The other candidates just spoke about their experience. I had a very specific vision. (The other candidates) would right down what I was talking about. Except Shepherd, he never wrote anything down.

On which candidate he’s going to support in the general election:

I am getting pinged by both front runners as far as their camps go. I’ll be meeting with them in the next week or two. A lot of it has to do with what I campaigned for (small business and sustainability). The candidate who can actually incorporate that into their job as mayor is the one I would definitely support.

Would he consider being the mayor’s small-business liaison?

I would work more toward a true economic development position. I would work more toward a true economic development position We have the title there (effectively Gary Sexton’s job as director of economic development) and I think we need an actual emphasis on small business and business development as a whole throughout the community.

I don’t know that “liaison” would be the best word. It would have to be somebody who was being able to go out there and basically recruit businesses to come to Bremerton. That’s something I’m very comfortable doing.

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