Everett businessman Greg Tisdel enters council race

EVERETT — A businessman who has championed commercial passenger flights at Paine Field launched a campaign Tuesday for the Snohomish County Council, saying he’s embarrassed by political infighting.

Greg Tisdel is challenging fellow Democrat Brian Sullivan, the incumbent in District 2. The district encompasses the Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip areas.

“I like to be in the back and get things done and have people ask, ‘How did that happen?’” Tisdel said.

Tisdel, 60, of Everett, has never held public office, but has long been active in economic development, government policy and civic groups.

He ran Tiz’s Doors, an Everett door company, for nearly two decades until it closed in 2011. He recently gave up a job as special advisor with Economic Alliance Snohomish County to focus on the campaign.

“We are in the midst of one of the largest economic resurgences in Washington state’s history, yet some of our county leaders have allowed themselves to be distracted by constant infighting,” he said in a release.

That was a reference to deep divisions between a majority of the County Council and county Executive John Lovick’s administration. In December, the rift led Lovick to veto the council’s budget and threatened the first county-level government shutdown in Washington’s history. The sides eventually reached a compromise.

Sullivan has been in the minority of a 3-2 political split on the council, siding with the executive on a series of contentious issues.

Sullivan, 56, will be trying for his third four-year term on the council. He has previously served in the state House, as Mukilteo’s mayor and as a Mukilteo city councilman. Sullivan recently moved to Everett.

Sullivan says his top priority is securing more state money for county transportation projects, which received little funding in Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed budget.

Tisdel has helped lead the push for scheduled commercial passenger flights from of Paine Field. That stance puts him at odds with Sullivan, who believes such flights will have an unacceptable impact on Mukilteo and other airport neighbors.

Things could come to a head soon. A New York-based company, Propeller Investments, is trying to get permission to build a commercial air terminal at the county airport.

Political candidates must file official paperwork with the county during the week of May 11. The primary election is Aug. 4. The top two vote-getters advance to the general election in November.

Other county offices up for election this year are the assessor, auditor, clerk, council District 3 (Edmonds, Woodway and much of Lynnwood), executive, sheriff and treasurer.

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

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