Democrats align behind Megan Dunn in County Council contest

A looming matchup with Republican Anna Rohrbough promises a huge political contrast

Megan Dunn

Megan Dunn

EVERETT — Local Democrats have coalesced behind Megan Dunn after she solidified her top showing among the seven Democrats seeking to survive a packed Snohomish County Council primary.

By Monday, the political and environmental activist’s lead over Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson had grown to 210 votes. That afternoon, county elections officials estimated only 20 or so ballots remained to be counted in the race. Gregerson reached out to concede Friday.

They were competing in the top-two primary in District 2, which spans the Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip areas.

The progressive Dunn is now set to face Republican Anna Rohrbough, a Mukilteo city councilmember.

The matchup makes for some interesting contrasts.

No Republican has ever held the seat, but Rohrbough hopes her more conservative message will resonate.

“I feel strongly that the people … do not want to follow the footsteps of Seattle but to build on the strengths of Snohomish County,” she wrote in an email Monday. “I believe that it is time for this county to put people above politics.”

The seat is open because incumbent Brian Sullivan must step down after serving three consecutive four-year terms.

In his first two campaigns for the seat, Sullivan won two-thirds or more of the vote against Republican opponents. In 2015, he eked out a victory against another Democratic candidate.

Dunn believes the trend will continue in the Nov. 5 general election.

“The race is looking good,” she said Monday. “We know the demographic. People really appreciate the values of Democrats.”

Dunn, 43, works as the director of the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, a small regional environmental nonprofit that aims to reduce pesticide use and exposure. She lives in Everett’s Lowell neighborhood. She was a leader in the political coalition that pushed for district representation on the Everett City Council.

Rohrbough, 46, is in her first term on the Mukilteo City Council, where she has been part of a bloc that has repeatedly clashed with the mayor over financial decisions and transparency. She works as a certified leadership trainer.

Dunn’s top priority is making the county a more affordable place to live through smart growth planning. She also hopes to use the position to take on climate change, along with public safety and transit goals.

Rohrbough pledges to take a more traditional pro-business approach as a councilmember. She talks of reducing regulations and helping connect workers to training for skilled jobs.

Of more than 22,000 votes tallied in District 2 from the Aug. 6 primary, Rohrbough won nearly 35%. Another 65% was divided among the seven Democrats. Dunn’s share was about 13.4 percent.

As Dunn’s second-place finish appeared increasingly strong, prominent Democrats including Executive Dave Somers, Sullivan and some of her primary rivals lent her their support.

The November election also features contested races for county auditor, sheriff and treasurer, as well as County Council District 3 and Superior Court.

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

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