Kate Dean has announced her candidacy to represent District 1 (Port Townsend) on the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners, following sitting Commissioner Phil Johnson’s decision not to seek a …
Kate Dean has announced her candidacy to represent District 1 (Port Townsend) on the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners, following sitting Commissioner Phil Johnson’s decision not to seek a fourth term.
"I likely would not have thrown my hat in the ring if Phil had decided to run, based on my respect for his work," Dean told the Leader Tuesday morning.
Dean, 41, manages the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council, a nonprofit council of governments that oversees regional community and economic development projects.
“After years of working with elected officials, this seems the perfect time for a new voice to step up and represent working families in Jefferson County,” Dean said in a press release issued March 29. “It would be an honor to build on Commissioner Johnson’s legacy of environmental protection and common-sense leadership.”
This is Dean's first campaign for elected public office. If elected, she said she would dedicate herself full time to the position.
Dean has lived in Jefferson County for 17 years, owning businesses and homes in each of the county’s three districts during that time. She has lived in Port Townsend for nine years, and worked with local governments on issues including economic development, climate change preparedness and farmland preservation.
"I have an understanding of all three districts, of what businesses are here, and about working families, which is the demographic we are actively trying to recruit and retain," she told the Leader.
Dean is a mother of two school-aged children and is actively involved in efforts to support the needs of families and entrepreneurs in Jefferson County.
“Right now, we have an opportunity to put Jefferson County on the map as a place that promotes innovation, grows jobs and the tax base, all without sacrificing the environment or living-wage jobs,” Dean said in a press release.
Dean recently earned a master's degree in public administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, part of the University of Washington. She also has a bachelor's degree in sustainable agriculture from Western Washington University.
Dean was founder of the Old Tarboo Farm in 1999, co-founder of Finnriver Farm in 2005, co-founder of Mt. Townsend Creamery in 2007 and worked as a consultant on her own between 2009 and 2015.
Dean also has been the small farms program coordinator for Jefferson County Washington State University, and was Jefferson Landworks' collaborative coordinator between 2007 and 2010.
Dean also has been a grant writer, writing grants for the Port Townsend School District and for a commercial kitchen in Chimacum, and was active in current grants for the Chimacum Crossroads project and a Climate Change Adaptation planning grant.
Dean's campaign literature notes that she has a track record of making local impacts through community engagement, including helping to grow the Port Townsend Farmers Market between 1999 and 2005 and the Jefferson County Farm to School initiative. She also serves on the Fort Worden Public Development Advisory Board.
For more information about the campaign, call 360-207-4749 or email email@example.com.