Voters in Mountlake Terrace, Brier to get primary ballots that will decide nothing

More than 11,500 voters in Mountlake Terrace and a few thousand more in Brier will get ballots for the August primary although they have nothing to decide.

Neither Mountlake Terrace nor Brier has city contests that require a primary. That’s because none of the races for the city councils or the Edmonds School District has more than two candidates.

Such non-partisan elections require a primary only when there are three or more candidates for a position.

Yet Mountlake Terrace and Brier voters will get ballots for the primary because they are part of Snohomish County Council District 4. That district has only two candidates for its representative on the County Council. Since the County Council position is a partisan office, it must appear on the primary ballot.

In County Council District 4, Democrat Terry Ryan and Republican Robert Reedy are running for the position that Councilman Dave Gossett must give up because of term limits. Both Reedy and Ryan will advance to the general election as long as each gets at least 1 percent of the votes.

That will be the only item on the primary ballot in Mountlake Terrace, where each City Council race and the two school board races have only one or two candidates. The same is true for most of Brier. A small part of Brier is in the Northshore School District, which will have a primary for a position with three candidates.

However, for more than 11,500 voters in Mountlake Terrace and a few thousand in Brier, the only item on the ballot will be the County Council race with only two candidates.

Because Ryan and Reedy are running in both a primary and a general election, donors are allowed to give either of them the maximum contribution of $900 twice, something that three contributors already have done for Ryan, Reedy has yet to report any fundraising.

Snohomish County Elections Manager Garth Fell said last week that it costs about $1.10 to prepare, mail and process each ballot.

In Mountlake Terrace councilmen Rick Ryan and Jerry Smith are running unopposed, and council members Doug McCardle, Bryan Wahl and Kyoko Wright each will face one opponent in the November general election.

In Brier, Mayor Bob Colinas and challenger Adam Gregorich will meet in the general election, and council members Marc Olson, Martin Krienke, Mike Gallager and John Joplin will run unopposed in November.

Edmonds School District board member Ann McMurray is running unopposed, and board member Susan Phillips will face challenger Leticia (Leti) Solis on the November ballot.

Edmonds and Woodway will have no primary election because neither has positions with more than two candidates.

Lynnwood will have a primary for mayor and three City Council positions. Unincorporated Fire District 1 will have a primary for one position.

Evan Smith can be reached at

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