Elections chief announces he’s running for county auditor

Garth Fell says colleagues will determine when he should recuse himself during the 2019 election.

Garth Fell

Garth Fell

EVERETT — Garth Fell has overseen more than a decade’s worth of ballot counting and recounting for Snohomish County.

Now the steadfastly neutral elections manager plans to get some first-hand political experience. Fell announced Tuesday that he’s running in 2019 to lead the county auditor’s office where he works. The auditor’s job is a four-year, non-partisan position.

“It certainly is a new process for me, but my reputation as an independent, non-partisan official will serve me well,” Fell said Tuesday.

Fell’s boss, Auditor Carolyn Weikel, faces the three-term term limit for elected county officials and cannot run for re-election. In a news release about Fell’s campaign launch, Weikel lauded him as “an experienced, proven professional dedicated to making local government responsive, transparent and accessible.”

Fell has worked as Snohomish County’s elections manager since 2007, overseeing voting on everything from presidential and gubernatorial contests all the way down to fire and water district commissions. He has national and state certifications.

For seven years, Fell doubled as Snohomish County’s recording manager. Before his current job, he worked as an assistant elections superintendent in King County.

Fell says he stays clear of partisan politics, on the job and beyond the workplace.

The 45-year-old lives in Meadowdale. Outside work, he enjoys hiking and music. He is married with three adult children and serves in his local church.

Fell said he intends to make arrangements with colleagues to ensure that his political activities don’t conflict with his government duties. They’ll decide when he can stay involved and when he needs to recuse himself.

“We desire to be as transparent as possible during that process,” he said.

Beyond overseeing the elections manager, other responsibilities of the county auditor include document recording and animal control. The office issues licenses for certain types of businesses and works in partnership with the state to issue vehicle and vessel licenses.

The job will pay $136,356 next year.

Also facing a term limit in 2019 are County Clerk Clerk Sonya Kraski and County Councilman Brian Sullivan. Sullivan is running to replace term-limited Treasurer Kirke Sievers.

County Executive Dave Somers, Sheriff Ty Trenary, Assessor Linda Hjelle and County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright are up for re-election, as well.

The official filing period for candidates is in May.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

Karen Moore
Civil attorney appointed to be Snohomish County judge

Karen Moore is a former deputy prosecutor. She also has experience as a pro tem judge and commissioner.

Eastside Tire and Muffler on Avenue D in Snohomish burns early Wednesday. (Snohomish County Fire District 4) 20210512
Snohomish tire store erupts in flames

The fire at Eastside Tire and Muffler was reported early Wednesday morning.

No one hurt in Lake Bosworth house fire

Fire crews arrived at the scene to find a small home engulfed in flames. It was destroyed.

Two E. Coli cases in Snohomish County; one child hospitalized

Authorities linked the cases to an outbreak in King County, possibly stemming from fresh produce.

Crews contracted by the Washington State Department of Transportation for pavement work on the U.S. 2 bridge over the Pilchuck River are set to close one lane this weekend to replace and install expansion joints. (WSDOT)
U.S. 2 Pilchuck River bridge closure and work delayed

The Pilchuck River bridge east of Highway 9 was set to close to one lane this weekend.

Josh Otusanya, 27, former Lake Stevens high soccer star turned comedian, has 4.6 million followers on TikTok for his inspirational videos from his family's home. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A funny local TikToker with 5M followers offers life hacks

Josh Otusanya, a Lake Stevens soccer star turned New York comedian, reinvented himself in his family’s basement.

Jeffrey Phebus is sentenced to over 31 years in prison for the murder of his wife Rebecca Phebus, on Monday, May 10, 2021, at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
‘No words’: Arlington man sentenced for killing wife at work

Jeffery Phebus, 61, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 31⅔ years in prison Monday.

Ron Detrick teaches his geometry class Wednesday morning at Lakewood Middle School in Marysville on May 12, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
For real, these Lakewood pupils are back in class full time

Elementary and middle school students there are getting in-person instruction five days a week.

Deborah Rumbaugh (left), Jay Jordan (center) and John Boyd are finalists for the Stanwood School District's superintendent position.
Finalists for Stanwood schools chief are coming to town

Each will visit the district this week to meet staff and take part in a virtual community forum.

Most Read