By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Stanko and Wendy Davis won spots on the Nov. 4 general election ballot in the sheriff’s race while Przygocki was eliminated from the contest.
“Well the primary has spoken and it is with deep regret that I am conceding my bid to be sheriff,” Przygocki said in a Facebook post Thursday morning.
“I endorse Dave Stanko for sheriff and urge all of my supporters to endorse Dave as well. I sincerely believe that Dave is by far the more qualified and ethical person then (sic) Wendy Davis.”
Przygocki did not respond to calls for comment Thursday.
In the latest vote count, Davis, 47, won 4,381 votes, or 40.19 percent, followed by Stanko, 66, with 3,427 votes, or 31.44 percent, and Przygocki, 63, with 3,048 votes, or 27.96 percent.
In the first count Tuesday, Stanko led Przygocki by only 140 votes.
Wednesday’s second count increased the gap to 379 votes, a greater number than the outstanding ballots.
A final count of about 150 ballots is planned by noon today.
Davis is not concerned about the endorsement, according to an email sent to the Peninsula Daily News on Thursday.
“Przygocki’s endorsement of Stanko is understandable because they are both retired, old-school law enforcement professionals, and they share some similar attributes and styles,” she said.
“The endorsements of my competition is not important to my future strategies or tactics.”
Stanko, recovering from hip-replacement surgery in Seattle, said Thursday that Przygocki called him that morning to inform him of his endorsement.
Stanko didn’t expect it, he said.
“I am humbled by this endorsement,” Stanko said.
“I am looking forward to campaigning against my opponent and letting people know my plans for the future of the sheriff’s department.”
Stanko, who has previously met Przygocki briefly on two occasions, said the two planned “to get together and have some coffee and talk about some of his ideas.”
Officers in schools
The creation of a citizen advisory board and a greater involvement of officers in schools are two of those ideas, Stanko said.
“Depending on our budget, we’ll see what we can do to get more community policing,” he said.
“This is a wonderful challenge, getting all the partners in place so they can work together to increase the department’s effectiveness.”
Davis favors an increased school presence but cautions that a citizen advisory board in a small community can be difficult because “you are only hearing the opinions of a few citizens who have been appointed to the board.
“I also believe that is very important to have law enforcement involved with students and participate in youth-engagement programs that promote relationships and trust,” she said.
“There are many ways that this can be accomplished while working within our budget constraints and manpower limitations.”
Stanko is expected to return home today with doctor’s instructions to stay off his feet for 10 days but said he may attempt to appear Sunday at the Jefferson County Fair, where his campaign has taken over the fair booth Przygocki had rented.
Davis is a former member of the Bremerton and Poulsbo police departments who now works for Port Ludlow Associates.
Stanko, who retired as a lieutenant from the Fullerton (Calif.) Police Department, is past president of Port Townsend Rotary and was named Citizen of the Year by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in 2001.
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.