How to run for office. (Snohomish County)

How to run for office. (Snohomish County)

Curtain rises on campaign season as candidate filing begins

With COVID, all filing is online and, for now, campaigning will be a virtual experience for all.

EVERETT — An election season gets formally under way Monday when candidates begin filing for state and federal offices, judicial positions and a seat on the Snohomish County Council.

With COVID-19, this is going to be anything but a typical political cycle.

Campaigning is going to be virtual for awhile as rallies, canvassing and other forms of gathering are banned under the state’s stay-home order.

On Monday, candidates won’t be able to submit their paperwork in person, surrounded by supporters, because the Snohomish County elections office is closed to the public.

Rather, every person must file online. They can do so between 9 a.m. Monday and 4 p.m. Friday. Any filing fee must be paid using a debit or credit card.

Another change affects those who cannot afford to pay the required fee to get their name on the ballot. Historically, they’ve been able to gather and turn in signatures at a ratio of one signature for each dollar of the fee. An emergency proclamation signed last week by Gov. Jay Inslee suspended the signature requirement for this year’s filing period.

Very few people take this route to the ballot, however, Secretary of State Kim Wyman said she requested the waiver because of the danger of exposure to the potentially deadly virus of those involved in soliciting signatures.

This year’s primary is Aug. 4 and the general election in Nov. 11. In each race, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary will advance.

Voters will be filling 18 seats in the state Legislature that represent Snohomish County.

Some of the fiercer contests are expected for an open House seat in the 44th Legislative District in central Snohomish County and a Senate seat in the 10th Legislative District, which also includes Island County and a sliver of Skagit County.

The county’s three incumbent Democratic members of Congress — Rick Larsen of Everett, Suzan Del Bene of Medina and Pramila Jayapal of Seattle — are all seeking re-election.

All statewide executive jobs will be on the ballot with Gov. Jay Inslee’s pursuit of a rare third term sure to grab much of the spotlight.

But the most competitive race ahead of the August primary may be for lieutenant governor. The job is coming open as Democratic Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib is retiring.

Three prominent Democrats — state Sens. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens and Marko Liias of Lynnwood, and Congressman Denny Heck of Olympia — are in. On the Republican side, Marty McClendon, who lost to Habib in 2016, is vying again.

Also seats on the Snohomish County Superior Court and on the state Supreme Court will be contested.

And Democratic Snohomish County Councilman Jared Mead of Mill Creek, who was appointed to the job in April, will be running to retain his seat through 2021.

Anyone needing help navigating the filing process should contact the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office at at 425-388-3444.

Auditor Garth Fell stressed that even if a person does not have access to the internet there will be options to complete the filing.

“Our staff will work with you to find a solution,” he said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald Twitter: @dospueblos

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