By Evan Smith
Five candidates are seeking the 21st Legislative District seat in the State House of Representatives left open by the retirement of Democratic Rep. Mary Helen Roberts.
The four Democrats and one Republican will appear on the Aug. 5 primary ballot, with the top two vote getters in the primary, regardless of party, qualifying for the November general-election ballot.
The 21st District includes most of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood and northeast of Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett.
The 21st District Democrats have given a joint endorsement to two of the candidates.
Here are introductory statements from the five candidates, in the order they will appear on the primary ballot:
21st DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE Pos. 1
Scott V. Whelpley (Prefers Democratic Party)
I am a father of two. I was raised by a single Hispanic mother. I want to bring proven, strong leadership to Olympia. As a Naval officer I proudly defended our families – serving five tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now I want to represent and defend your values in the legislature.
The hardworking people in this district demand pragmatic, common sense solutions to the challenges we face. We need quality education, transportation, and better care for our seniors and veterans.
This election is about solutions, not posturing. This election is about us – our jobs, our future, and our community.
Dick McManus (Prefers Democratic Party)
I am 66, married, and a retired US Army, Chief Warrant Officer-3. I worked as a counter-intelligence special agent and a counter-terrorism analyst. The threat of terrorism is and has NOT been anything to worry about! Sept. 11th was done by explosions.
What are big deals? Lying about WMDs and the failure to prosecute Bush et al. who authorized torture, etc. and made unnecessary and unjust wars.
I will ALWAYS vote with the majority of Democrats in the State Legislature. I was combat paramedic/LPN in South Vietnam. I have a BS degree in psychology.
Strom Peterson (Prefers Democratic Party)
My wife Maria and I chose to open our business here, and, as a two-term Edmonds councilman, I have worked to better our community. I have a record of uniting people to get results – more sidewalks, a cleaner environment, a stronger economy. I bring needed experience to Olympia to make progress on our priorities – education funding, transportation investment, economic development.
I’m endorsed by Sen. Maria Cantwell, State Sen. Marko Liias, State Rep. Mary Helen Roberts, County Council members Wright and Sullivan; Edmonds, Mukilteo, and Lynnwood mayors, 21st District Democrats, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, firefighters, teachers, small business, labor, and conservation leaders.
Justin McMahon (Prefers Democratic Party)
Growing up in Lynnwood in a union household, I know firsthand the struggles of working families. The recession caused devastating cuts to our social safety net – services my family relied on during tough times. My success later in life is thanks to this help. I’m running to fully fund public schools, improve our mental healthcare system, keep our streets safe for residents and police, and clean up our beautiful Puget Sound.
Endorsements: 21st District Democrats, Snohomish County Democrats, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary, County Councilmember Brian Sullivan, Washington State Labor Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, hundreds of community and labor leaders.
Allen McPheeters (Prefers Republican Party)
Allen McPheeters has lived in Washington most of his life, both east and west of the Cascades. Originally a video game designer, he now works as a software consultant.
Allen’s politics lie somewhere between conservative and libertarian. “I think most people want to be left alone to pursue their own dreams,” he says. “They expect government to perform certain core functions, and get uneasy when it tries to do too much. I want to help rein in Olympia’s habit of biting off more than it can chew.”
Allen and his wife, Amy, have been married for over fifteen years.