Robinson leaves council race for try at House seat

EVERETT — June Robinson pulled out of the competition for a vacant City Council seat Tuesday and will instead pursue a potential open seat in the state House of Representatives.

Robinson’s decision leaves six people vying to replace Shannon Afholter in the Position 7 seat. Afholter resigned last month to lead the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.

On Wednesday, starting at 3 p.m., the City Council is scheduled to conduct public interviews with Richard Anderson, Elly Smith, Judy Tuohy, Art Thomson, Megan Dunn and Kim Nielsen.

Council members hope to reach a final decision during their 6:30 p.m. session. Whoever is chosen will be sworn in at the council’s Nov. 20 meeting.

Robinson, 54, had been viewed as a favorite for the appointment after receiving nominations from three council members last week, the most of any candidate.

But when Everett Democrat Nick Harper resigned his state Senate seat Saturday, it set in motion a political process which is expected to culminate with a vacant House seat.

On Nov. 26, the elected and appointed Democratic precinct committee officers will gather at the Everett Labor Temple to nominate three people for the job. Those names will be forwarded to the Snohomish County Council, which will interview them and make the appointment the next day, council Chairwoman Stephanie Wright said Tuesday.

Democratic state Reps. John McCoy of Tulalip and Mike Sells of Everett are seeking to succeed Harper in the 38th District seat. The district includes Everett, Tulalip and part of Marysville.

It is widely presumed either McCoy or Sells will be selected. Then one of their House seats will open and the same process involving the same precinct committee officers will be repeated to find a replacement.

Whoever is appointed to the Senate — and likely House — will serve in the 2014 legislative session and need to run for a full term next fall.

Robinson, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2011 and 2012, isn’t the only person pursuing the anticipated House seat.

Kelly Wright of Marysville emailed precinct committee officers Tuesday indicating his interest. He said he’s only interested in serving as a caretaker for the 2014 session and would not run for a full term in 2014.

Also Tuesday, Ed Triezenberg, an executive of the local carpenters union, threw his hat into the ring.

And David Simpson, who served in the Legislature in 2004, is reportedly going to seek the appointment. Sells unseated Simpson in the 2004 election.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com

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