By Evan Smith
The 21st Legislative District Democrats started their review of candidates for the open House of Representatives seat Thursday, when the District executive board interviewed four candidates for the position that Democratic State Rep. Mary Helen Roberts is giving up after five two-year terms.
The four candidates are campaign organizer Justin McMahon, perennial candidate Dick McManus, Edmonds City Councilman Strom Peterson and retired Navy aviator Scott Whelpley.
Candidates file for ballot position May 12-16.
During that week, on May 15, the District Democratic organization will be host to a candidate forum for candidates who have filed for the position.
On May 21, District Democrats plan to endorse one or more of the candidates at a regular business meeting.
McManus said Friday that he is unsure about being able to raise the money for the filing fee
No Republican has registered an intent to run for the position.
The top two vote-getters in the August primary, regardless of party, advance to the November general-election ballot. With no Republican candidates, two Democrats would meet in November.
Whelpley starts the campaign with a financial advantage, having reported raising $18,595 and spending $6,728. Peterson has reported raising $4,183 and spending $1,000. McManus reports raising $105 and spending $19 McMahon has reported no fundraising or spending.
The District Democrats already have endorsed incumbent State Sen. Marko Liias and incumbent State Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self. Republican Daniel Mathews has announced a campaign against Liias. Republican Jeffrey Thorp has withdrawn as a candidate against Ortiz-Self, leaving her with no declared opponent.
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.