Write-in campaign for Lynnwood candidate who lost in primary

LYNNWOOD — A City Council candidate who lost in the August primary election has started a write-in campaign for another council position.

City Diversity Commission Chairwoman Shirley Sutton finished third in a close three-way primary behind Planning Commissioner Ian Cotton and former Councilman Jim Smith in August, 88 votes behind Smith and 92 votes behind Cotton.

Cotton and Smith will run in November for the position that Councilman Mark Smith gave up to run unsuccessfully for mayor in the primary.

Now, Sutton has filed as a registered write-in candidate for the position that Councilwoman Kerry Lonergan-Dreke now holds. She will challenge former Councilwoman Ruth Ross and real estate broker Douglas Lovitt in November.*

A registered write-in candidate has his or her votes counted even with minor misspellings. Still, write-in votes count only if there are enough of them to affect the outcome of the race.

To register as a write-in candidate, Sutton paid the same $186 filing fee that she paid to get a place on the primary ballot. As a registered write-in candidate, she gets no ballot access or place in the voters’ pamphlet for the general election.

State law prevents any candidate who loses in a primary from running for the same position in the general election. That “anti-sore-loser” law doesn’t prevent a losing primary candidate from seeking a different position in the general election.

Sutton acknowledged that a write-in campaign is hard but said that she owes her supporters the effort.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

Correction, Oct. 15, 2013: The names of Douglas Lovitt and Kerry Lonergan-Dreke were misspelled in an earlier version of this story.

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