Election season about to get real as candidate filing begins

It will be an intriguing year in Snohomish County politics, as retirements open seats and redistricting stirs competition.


EVERETT — An election season infused with intrigue from retirements, redistricting and hot button issues gets formally underway Monday.

Candidates can begin filing for state and federal offices, judicial positions and Snohomish County prosecutor. They can do so online between 9 a.m. Monday and 4 p.m. Friday. In-person submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday.

This year’s primary is Aug. 2 and the general election is Nov. 8. In each race, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary will advance.

Voters will be filling 20 seats in the state Legislature — 16 House and four Senate — that represent portions of Snohomish County. It’s certain there will be new faces.

Retirements of Democratic Reps. Mike Sells and Emily Wicks, both of Everett, mean newcomers will occupy both House seats in the 38th Legislative District.

Also leaving office is Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Cornell. A battle for his job is expected between Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor Jason Cummings, a Democrat, and Brett Rogers, a Republican, who works for the Seattle Police Department and ran unsuccessfully for Lake Stevens School Board last year.

Redistricting has opened the door for an intraparty fight in one legislative seat. It has also moved part of Snohomish County into a new legislative district and congressional district.

That legislative fight is in the 39th District. Rep. Robert Sutherland, R-Granite Falls, a two-term incumbent, will face a challenge from Republican Sam Low, a Snohomish County Council member who lives in Lake Stevens, which is a new part of the district. Democrat Claus Joens of Marblemount, who Sutherland defeated in 2020, also plans to file.

Meanwhile, Monroe, Sultan, Gold Bar and Index are no longer in the 39th Legislative District. They are in a reconfigured 12th District, united with communities along Highway 2 in Chelan County, including Leavenworth, Cashmere, Dryden and Wenatchee. Incumbent Republican Reps. Mike Steele of Chelan and Keith Goehnerof Dryden are expected to run again.

Three incumbent Democratic members of Congress — Rick Larsen of Everett, Suzan DelBene of Medina and Kim Schrier of Sammamish — are all seeking re-election. Larsen and DelBene are familiar to county voters. Schrier is not.

She represents the 8th Congressional District. In redistricting, she picked up a chunk of rural Snohomish County that DelBene had served. In the process, South County was moved out of the 7th Congressional District represented by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, also a Democrat.

Schrier will have several Republican challengers, including Reagan Dunn, a King County Council member, and Jesse Jensen, a former Army Ranger who she beat in 2020.

Voters can expect a lot of debate in this contest on the track record of Democratic President Joe Biden and the issues of inflation, public safety and abortion rights.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Whidbey Island, is seeking a sixth term. She’ll have a lot of opponents. Republican Tiffany Smiley is expected to emerge from the primary.

There’s a statewide race with local connections on the ballot.

Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, a moderate Democrat from Lake Stevens, is looking to retain the seat he has held since November. Gov. Jay Inslee appointed him to replace Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who resigned to take a job in the Biden administration.

Several folks are expected in this race including Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, who is running as an independent; Republican state Sen. Keith Wagoner of Sedro Woolley; and Tamborine Borrelli of Gig Harbor, a Republican and leader of the Washington Election Integrity Coalition United which has filed lawsuits alleging fraud in the 2020 elections.

Candidates for statewide and federal offices, and legislative seats which cross county lines, must file with the Office of the Secretary of State. Other candidates will submit paperwork with the Snohomish County elections office.

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

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dospueblos.

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