EVERETT — Following a trio of virtual candidate interviews, the Snohomish County Council on Wednesday chose a state lawmaker from the Mill Creek area to fill an open seat.
The council unanimously voted to appoint Democratic state Rep. Jared Mead to succeed former Councilman Terry Ryan, who stepped down in February to become the county’s first director of aerospace economic development. The meeting was held via the online video conferencing platform Zoom.
Mead was selected over Mill Creek City Councilwoman Stephanie Vignal and Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright to represent District 4. The three candidates were nominated for the position last month by the county Democratic Party.
“I think Jared has demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle and has demonstrated that he works hard for his constituents,” said County Council Chairman Nate Nehring, adding that he’s “looking forward to working with” Mead.
“I really appreciate that we had three qualified candidates come through,” Nehring said.
Mead currently represents the state’s 44th legislative district, which covers southern parts of the county, including Snohomish, Marysville and Lake Stevens. He will finish his legislative term, which concludes at the end of the year, he said.
He will also run for election in November to retain the District 4 County Council seat through 2021, he said.
District 4 spans suburban areas, mostly east of I-5, and includes Mill Creek, Brier, Mountlake Terrace and part of Bothell, along with unincorporated areas such as Silver Firs and Thrashers Corner.
Mead, a self-proclaimed “brand new dad,” said he sees the move to the County Council as a way to balance his commitment to public service and his family. While in Olympia, he missed his son’s first steps and first birthday, he said.
“I’d like to be here to watch my kids grow up,” Mead said.
During his interview with the council, he said the coronavirus crisis has brought to light a need for the county to put more resources toward its public health system.
“I think we’re realizing we were not necessarily as invested or prepared as we could have been,” Mead told the council.
He wants to be a part of the leadership team that helps the community rebound from the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he told The Daily Herald.
“A lot of people are suffering now, and a lot of people are going to suffer moving forward,” he said. “We have to be there for them.”