Democrats line up to run in 21st Legislative District

The number of Democrats seeking to replace retiring 21st District Democratic State Rep. Mary Helen Roberts grew to four Wednesday when Edmonds City Councilman Strom Peterson announced his candidacy.

Peterson joins retired labor union official Darrell Chapman, retired Navy aviator Scott Whelpley and perennial candidate Dick McManus as candidates for the position.

McManus earlier had declared as a candidate for the position that Democratic State Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self holds by appointment but now says that he supports Ortiz-Self and intends to seek the open position.

McManus has declared for other offices in the past but been unable to raise the filing fee. He says that this year will be different.

No Republican has declared as a candidate for the open position.

Candidates file May 12-16 for positions on the August primary ballot, with the top two vote getters, regardless of party, qualifying for the November general-election ballot.

The race promises to be expensive.Whelpley already has reported raising $17,125. Chapman starts with $10,584 left from 2012, when he started a campaign to replace then-State-Rep. Marko Liias before Liias’ plans to run for Congress were halted by redistricting.

Peterson has yet to report any fundraising, but he has $768 left from his 2013 council re-election campaign. McManus has reported raising $95 and spending $45.

Chapman had applied in January to fill the District’s other House position, the seat that Liias gave up to accept appointment to the District’s State Senate seat.

Instead, the appointment went to Ortiz-Self, who had reported raising $8,890 and spending $5,458 before she was barred from fundraising during the legislative session. Declaring an intention to run against Ortiz-Self is Republican Jeffrey Thorp, a member of the Mukilteo School Board. Thorp has reported no fundraising or spending.

Chapman had registered with the State public disclosure commission as a candidate for the position that Ortiz-Self holds before Roberts’ retirement caused him to declare for the open position. He can decide up through the May 16 filing deadline.

Liias is the only candidate for the District’s Senate position. He reports raising $48,046 and spending $13,466.

As for other possible Republican candidates, Republican Kevin Morrison, who challenged Liias for his House position two years ago, said Feb. 27 that large Democratic donors, most from outside the district, make it difficult to run in the largely Democratic district, but, he added, “Stay tuned.”

The district includes most of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood and northeast of Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett.

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