EVERETT — Line-ups in this year’s bounty of elections begin taking shape Monday when the formal sign-up period opens for candidates.
Dozens of local, state and federal offices are up for grabs in 2016 and the choices of voters in the August primary and November general election could rebalance power in the Legislature and Congress.
“This is the kick-off of the election season. It’s exciting,” Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Weikel said.
“Because of the potential changes in the Legislature, it is important voters begin educating themselves now about the candidates,” she said.
In a statement, Secretary of State Kim Wyman noted this is a busy election cycle.
“Along with the presidential race and ballot propositions, it will be a feast for voters,” she said. “I expect a very robust turnout.”
Candidates can file online or in person at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett through 4 p.m. Friday. Any registration fees must be paid when filing. Those seeking a statewide or federal office, or a legislative seat whose jurisdiction crosses county lines, should register with the Secretary of State’s office.
One of the marquee match-ups will be for Position 1 in the 44th Legislative District in central Snohomish County.
Democrat Hans Dunshee gave up the seat after joining the Snohomish County Council earlier this year. Democrat John Lovick, the former county executive from Mill Creek, is dueling Republican businesswoman Janice Huxford, of Lake Stevens, for the job.
Their race will get a lot of attention from the two political parties. Republicans need to gain two seats to become the majority in the state House. This is viewed as one of their prime targets for a pick-up and thus Democrats will be playing defense.
In south county, the retirement of state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, ensures new faces representing the 1st Legislative District. How many is to be decided.
Two Democrats, Rep. Luis Moscoso, of Bothell, and Guy Palumbo, of Maltby, are already scrapping for McAuliffe’s seat. Art Coday, of Woodinville, is expected to be the lone Republican in the race.
In the meantime, three Democratic candidates — Shelley Kloba, of Kirkland, Kyoko Matsumoto-Wright, of Mountlake Terrace, and Nicholas Carlson, of Bothell — and one Republican, Ed Barton, are vying to replace Moscoso.
Meanwhile, Dunshee will be on the ballot. He is seeking a win in November to complete the final year of the term of Dave Somers, who is now the county executive. He will be challenged by Republican businessman Sam Low, of Lake Stevens.
Looking at the statewide picture, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is seeking a second term with his toughest challenge expected to come from Republican Bill Bryant. As always, a host of lesser known hopefuls are expected to sign up.
The other eight statewide offices also are on the ballot. And, in a rare occurrence, there are openings in five of them — lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor, commissioner of public lands and superintendent of public instruction.
Voters get a chance to decide who will sit in three of the seats on the Supreme Court as well. Justices Mary Yu, Barbara Madsen and Charles Wiggins are seeking re-election to a six-year term.
On the federal front, nine of Washington’s 10 members of the House of Representatives are up for re-election. The list includes Democratic Reps. Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene, each of whom represents large swaths of Snohomish County.
Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott of Seattle, whose 7th Congressional takes in part of south Snohomish County, is retiring. Three Democratic candidates are locked in a fierce competition to succeed him.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is seeking a fifth term and Chris Vance, a former state Republican Party chairman, is trying to unseat her.
Under Washington law, in contests with more than two candidates, the top two vote-getters for each position in the Aug. 2 primary will advance to the general election.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to run? Here are some basic things candidates need to know.
If you are seeking a partisan office, candidates will designate the party label they prefer, using up to 16 characters. Most choose Democratic or Republican but candidates are free to use other party preferences or no label at all.
Judicial races, the state school superintendent and some other offices are nonpartisan.
The filing fee is 1 percent of one year’s salary for the office sought. For example, it is $1,740 for a U.S. Senate or House seat, $1,718 for governor and $454.74 for a state lawmaker hopeful.
Candidates may also submit Voters’ Pamphlet statement and photo at the time of filing.