By Rikki King
This election season has offered up a surprise battle in an unlikely place: the board of commissioners at Snohomish County Fire District 8, in Lake Stevens.
Eight people have applied for the job. All eight names are expected to appear on the general election ballot in November, Lake Stevens Fire Chief Dave Lingenfelter said.
The chief seemed perplexed, too, when asked what’s up. The job — setting policies for the fire district — pays a little more than $100 a meeting, with annual limits set by state law. It’s a lot of hours for the pay, he said.
Historically, people running for the commissioner positions are unopposed or the race is decided between two candidates, the chief said. This is the first time in recent memory the job hasn’t gone through the primary election.
The reason is sad. The job formerly was held by commissioner Vern Foster, who died in July. A special three-day filing period netted eight candidates, some of whom work in local fire departments and some of whom don’t.
The candidates in the running as of this week are Cory Stevens, Brian McMahan, Steven Lyn Dazey, Allen Smith, Paul Gagnon, Brett Blankenship, Arlene Hulten and Jim Steinruck.
The board has three commissioners who serve six-year terms. The other commissioners are Troy Elmore and interim police chief Dan Lorentzen.
A version of this post will run in print in the Our Towns section soon.