Air Force veteran challenging Nehring for County Council seat

Raymond Miller, a Democrat from Marysville, announced plans to run in 2017 for Snohomish County Council’s District 1. Miller is a U.S. Air Force Veteran who has worked in veterans services and counseling. (Ray Miller)

MARYSVILLE — Raymond Miller, a Democrat, has announced plans to run for the Snohomish County Council’s District 1.

Miller, a 67-year-old Air Force veteran from Marysville, is challenging appointed Republican Councilman Nate Nehring. The district includes Arlington, Darrington, Granite Falls, Marysville and Stanwood, as well as surrounding unincorporated areas.

“All my professional experience and public service experience uniquely equip me to serve cities, communities and rural areas of north and east Snohomish County on the County Council,” Miller said in a campaign announcement.

Miller has worked in counseling and veterans services. He lists providing affordable housing and reducing homelessness as priorities. He was elected in 2015 to the county’s Charter Review Commission, but otherwise has not held elected office. He serves on the county’s Human Rights Commission and a state salaries commission.

Three of the five County Council positions are up for election this year. Council Chairman Brian Sullivan, who is in the middle of his term, is running for mayor of Everett against City Councilwomen Judy Tuohy and Cassie Franklin.

Nehring, who turned 22 in March, is the youngest person to serve on the County Council since its inception in 1980. That hasn’t stopped him from racking up an impressive list of political endorsements or raising more than $40,000 in campaign cash as of last week.

He was appointed in January after Ken Klein resigned to take a management job under County Executive Dave Somers. Nehring, who is the son of Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, was in his first year of teaching middle-school science.

“I think he’s a nice young man, but I don’t think he’s ready to be a County Council member,” Miller said. “I don’t think he has the experience.”

Republican Robert Sutherland, of Granite Falls, also is running for the job. The 57-year-old is a retired biochemist and, like Miller, an Air Force veteran. He previously has run for Congress and county executive.

Candidates must file official campaign paperwork May 15 to 19. The top two vote-getters from the Aug. 1 primary advance to the general election.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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