5 candidates file to run for Snohomish County executive

EVERETT — If you worry about an election season full of unchallenged incumbents, fear not.

At the end of filing week Friday, a five-way race was on for Snohomish County executive, with two political veterans and a trio of outsiders.

A county councilman who’s one of the best-known figures in local politics has drawn a well-funded opponent. There’s jockeying for a soon-to-be-open county assessor’s job.

In Everett, three sitting city council members have attracted challengers. Mayor’s jobs are contested in Arlington, Darrington, Lake Stevens and Sultan. There’s competition for school board seats in the Everett, Edmonds, Lakewood, Mukilteo and Northshore districts.

By the end of the day, 332 candidates had filed. They’re running for 182 offices, including city councils, fire districts and water districts.

The top two vote-getters from the Aug. 4 primary will advance to the general election Nov. 3, regardless of political affiliation. Nonpartisan races with two or fewer contestants won’t appear on the primary ballot.

County Executive John Lovick cruised through last year’s primary and general election for a special one-year term in office. To win another four years, Lovick must fend off another high-profile Democrat, Dave Somers, the chairman of the County Council.

Three more candidates entered the race by 5 p.m. Friday: retired biochemist Robert Sutherland, a Republican from Granite Falls who made an unsuccessful run for Congress last year; Lynnwood attorney and anti-fluoride activist James Robert Deal, who gave no party preference but ran as a Democrat against Lovick last year and failed to clear the primary; and Republican Party activist Norm Nunnally of Marysville.

In other county races, County Councilman Brian Sullivan’s re-election is being challenged by Greg Tisdel, an Everett businessman with a long history of government engagement. Both men are Democrats, though Sullivan has questioned Tisdel’s party credentials because he’s donated to Republican campaigns. The council seat represents District 2, which includes the areas of Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip.

Two people are competing for the county assessor’s job. Current Assessor Cindy Portmann can’t run again, due to term limits. Linda Hjelle, Portmann’s chief deputy of 11 years, launched her campaign in March. Marty Glaser of Machias is competing against Hjelle. Glaser owns a real estate appraisal company, Martin Appraisal Services.

Everett’s political scene promises to get lively.

Ron Gipson is the most seasoned city council member with 20 consecutive years of experience. Gipson has been on paid leave from his day job as a Snohomish County juvenile corrections officer for more than a year because of sexual harassment allegations. He’s undergoing employment hearings to address potential misconduct documented in a report released earlier this year.

Gipson has two opponents for the council’s Position 4. Cassie Franklin is the CEO of Cocoon House, a nonprofit serving homeless and at-risk youth. Franklin has launched a robust campaign and reported raising more than $11,000. Gipson and a third challenger, Vic Paul, had yet to report any money. Paul, a first-time candidate who works on routing for a pest control company, said he wants to curb preferential treatment for downtown development and to make city government more accessible.

Everett Councilman Scott Bader is seeking his first four-year term in Position 5, since winning a special election in 2012 following the death of Councilman Drew Nielsen. Bader’s campaign reported raising nearly $13,000. He works as the Archdiocese of Seattle’s director of parish financial services.

Challenger Charlene Rawson, who works in iPhone tech support, has been active in the Port Gardner neighborhood. She has run twice unsuccessfully for other city council seats.

Also vying for Bader’s seat is Joshua Petersen, a computer programer interested in environmental conservation and the city’s homeless population.

City Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher is running for re-election in Position 6. Erik Richerson filed to run against her.

In Lake Stevens, City Councilmen Marcus Tageant and John Spencer are competing to be the city’s next mayor. Current Mayor Vern Little did not file to run.

In Arlington, Mayor Barbara Tolbert is being challenged by Craig Christianson, a firefighter and past mayoral candidate. In Sultan, Mayor Carolyn Eslick is running for re-election against Ray George. In Darrington, Mayor Dan Rankin is being challenged by Todd Ronning.

Several dozen candidates filed to compete for 15 spots on the county’s Charter Review Commission, which will appear on the November ballot only.

The county auditor, clerk, sheriff and treasurer are running unopposed. So is County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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