Deputy prosecutor says he’ll seek election to the top job

Adam Cornell, a Democrat, is endorsed by Mark Roe, who is stepping down.

Adam Cornell

Adam Cornell

EVERETT — Longtime Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell on Monday said he hopes to succeed his boss, Mark Roe, as prosecuting attorney.

Roe, who has been prosecutor since 2009, last month said a recent health scare prompted him to decide not to seek re-election. While his health is fine, Roe plans to retire when his term ends in 2018.

Roe has endorsed Cornell, who has worked for him as a deputy prosecutor for 15 years. Cornell, 45, a Democrat, also has support from other state and community leaders, including former Govs. Chris Gregoire and Gary Locke, County Executive Dave Somers and Sheriff Ty Trenary.

“I am excited to seek this new role, building on my experience and commitment to the families of Snohomish County,” Cornell said in a news release. “I want to be prosecutor to preserve the tradition of seeking justice fairly, firmly, and ethically to protect our communities. I want to continue fostering collaboration and innovation among law and justice partners as we look for ways to not only enforce our laws and protect crime victims and their families, but adopt innovations that restore lives impacted by addiction and other crises.”

Cornell, of Edmonds, has handled numerous complex cases in the county and also has served as a special assistant U.S. attorney. He was one of the lead prosecutors in the Mukilteo mass shooting case in 2016. The gunman pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.

Cornell grew up in foster care and often has spoken about how the experience led him to pursue a career helping young people.

“I want to be a prosecutor who can be a strong voice for kids at risk of slipping through the cracks, making sure more foster children and those who face an uncertain future are given hope and opportunity,” he said. “I want to inspire others to public service and civic engagement, and encourage a spirit of volunteerism that connects people to their neighbors in a meaningful way — for the good of everyone in our region.”

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