By Evan Smith, Herald Writer
The number of candidates for the open 21st Legislative District House seat has dropped, with Democrat Darrrell Chapman’s announcement that he will not run for the position left open by Democrat Mary Helen Roberts’ retirement.
Chapman publicly announced Thursday that he was ending his candidacy for health reasons after earlier making the announcement to Snohomish County Democrats and labor groups.
Chapman’s withdrawal leaves three announced Democratic candidates for the position: Edmonds City Councilman Strom Peterson; Retired Navy aviator Scott Whelpley; and perennial candidate Dick McManus. No Republican has announced for the position.
Chapman had not reported any fundraising for the campaign, but had raised $10,584 when he prepared to run in 2012 for the House position then held by fellow Democrat Marko Liias. Chapman ended that effort when Liias’ plans to run for Congress were thwarted by redistricting.
Early this year, Chapman had applied for the appointment to replace Liias, when Liias moved to the State Senate, but fellow Democrat Lillian Ortiz-Self won the appointment. Then, when Roberts announced her retirement, Chapman declared his candidacy for the Roberts position.
Whelpley leads the three remaining candidates in fundraising, having reported raising $17,125. Peterson has yet to report any fundraising, but he has $765 left from his 2013 city council re-election campaign.
McManus reports raising $95 and spending $45. He has declared for other offices in the past without being able to raise the filing fee, but he says that this year will be different.
Democrat Ortiz-Self and Republican Jeffery Thorp have announced for the district’s other House position. Ortiz-Self has reported raising $8,890 and spending $5,458. Thorp reports no fundraising or spending.
Liias is the only declared candidate for the district’s Senate position. He reports raising $48,046 and spending $13,466.
Republican Kevin Morrison, who ran against Liias for the House two years ago, says that Republicans are reluctant to run in the district because of the Democrats’ advantage in fundraising.
Candidates file in May for positions on the August primary ballot. The top two vote getters in the primary, regardless of party, qualify 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.
Evan Smith can be reached at email@example.com.