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5 file for Nielsen’s seat; update on other races

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By Bill Sheets
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- Five people have filed for the seat left vacant by the untimely death of Everett City Councilman Drew Nielsen.
The top two vote-getters in the August primary will face off in November to finish out Nielsen's term.
Meanwhile, a person will be appointed to fill the position for the remainder of this year. The council has 30 days from the occurrence of the vacancy to make the appointment, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said.
Nielsen, 61, died in a river rafting accident on May 12.
In the Legislature, voters will be electing several people to represent parts of Snohomish and Island counties. The filing period for all candidates for office in the state ended Friday.
Candidates to file for the Everett City Council position include Pete Kinch, who served as mayor from 1990 to 1994. He's now executive director of the Everett nonprofit Hands for Peacemaking. Also running are retired Everett police officer Jon Ott; former City Council candidates Scott Bader and June Robinson; and Bill Paulen. Bader is employed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.
Gigi Burke filed earlier in the week but later withdrew. Burke is a former owner of Crown Distributing who serves on several panels.
Seventeen seats -- three in the Senate and 14 in the House -- are up for grabs with hot contests expected for some and no contests for a couple.
One of the most closely watched races is in the 10th District where Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, faces a challenge from state Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor.
Another big contest pits incumbent, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, against two opponents in the primary -- Republican Dawn McCravey of Bothell, a Northshore School Board member, and Democrat Guy Palumbo of Woodinville, a business owner who has garnered the most campaign donations so far.
The third Senate seat on the ballot is in the 39th District where Republican Val Stevens of Arlington is retiring. State Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, is looking to succeed her and will duel Democrat Scott Olson of Monroe for the job.
Pearson's exit from the House ignited a lot of interest in filling his seat. Four Republicans -- Elizabeth Scott and Robert Zimmerman, both of Monroe, and Gregory Dean Lemke and Robert Pilgrim, both of Arlington -- and two Democrats, Eleanor Walters of Snohomish and Josie Fallgatter of Sultan, filed for the office.
Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, will face four Republicans in the primary: Mark Harmsworth, a Mill Creek councilman; Bob McCaughan of Snohomish who lost to Dunshee in 2010; Carol Ann Fish of Snohomish, and B.J. Guillot of Marysville.
State Rep. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, finds himself up against three opponents -- Republican Sandy Guinn, a former Bothell City Councilwoman; Democrat Greg Rankich, a Kirkland businessman who garnered headlines last year with a $3 million gift to his alma mater, Washington State University; and perennial Republican candidate Brian Travis of Bothell.
Meanwhile, two Democratic state representatives may be re-elected without a ballot tussle.
Democratic Reps. Marko Liias of Edmonds and Mary Helen Roberts of Lynnwood drew no challengers. There is still time for a person to qualify as a write-in candidate.
Reporters Debra Smith and Jerry Cornfield contributed to this story.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439;
Story tags » ElectionsLocal electionsLegislature elections

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