Chris Faith, left, and Kittie Schuster, right, sort through ballots on the Snohomish County Campus on Thursday, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Chris Faith, left, and Kittie Schuster, right, sort through ballots on the Snohomish County Campus on Thursday, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Here are 6 things at stake in Tuesday’s election

Snohomish County voters will have a say in control of Congress, funding for Monroe schools and the fate of two incumbent Republican state lawmakers

EVERETT — Voters got a lot on their plates Tuesday.

Some will help decide control of Congress. Others will determine the fate of taxes to fund public schools.

And a Democratic candidate for a legislative seat will learn if his troubles with the truth will cost him at the polls.

Here are six things we’re watching when ballot counting begins. Remember what happens Tuesday may not be the final result as it can take several rounds of vote tallying before an outcome is clear.

The value of waiting

In February, voters in the Monroe School District said no to renewing a property tax levy that would generate nearly $69 million over the next four years. District leaders hope they’ll have a change of heart Tuesday.

It’s not like voters objected to how the money would be spent — for athletics, band, and special education services as well as salaries of teachers, paraeducators, nurses and custodians. They didn’t like how the district was operating then under its embattled superintendent Justin Blasko. Racial incidents. COVID mandates. Curriculum disputes. All created tension.

School board members sensed this. They held off on bringing the measure back to the ballot right away. They dumped Blasko. Mandates eased and tensions seemed to have subsided a bit. They’re hoping their patience pays off.

Moment of truth

A week ago, Clyde Shavers appeared on course to possibly unseat first-term Republican state Rep. Greg Gilday in the 10th Legislative District. The Democratic challenger won the primary. His political profile — US Navy veteran, Yale Law School grad, and a Japanese American — looks to be a good fit in the swing district that boasts a sizable military presence. The closeness of this race is drawing loads of spending.

Things have changed quickly since his father, Brett Shavers, penned a letter spotlighting his son’s trouble with the truth and sent it to Gilday’s camp where it’s been widely disseminated. We now know Clyde wasn’t a nuclear submarine officer as he’s claimed. Nor is he an attorney as he declared on financial disclosures forms. He hasn’t passed the bar. Clyde Shavers posted an apology on his campaign website. The extent of damage from his embellishments is about to be seen.

An historic moment

Two members of the Snohomish County Council are competing for seats in the state Legislature. If Strom Peterson, a Democrat, and Sam Low, a Republican, are successful it will be quite a feat. Never have two sitting county council members served as state lawmakers at the same time.

Peterson, of Edmonds, actually has both jobs now. He’s the incumbent state representative in the 21st Legislative District and a huge favorite to win re-election. Low, of Lake Stevens, is challenging incumbent Rep. Robert Sutherland, R-Granite Falls, in the 39th Legislative District.

Holding two jobs is legal. Washington has what’s called a citizen Legislature and it’s presumed members return to other jobs when a session ends. And if you’re wondering, a County Council member earns $126,571 a year and state lawmakers earn $57,876 a year.

Doing both jobs won’t be easy. Low, for example, has said he has an idea of how it’s going to work but “if I can’t make them both work, I’ll be glad to give one up.” He hasn’t said which one.

Republican versus Republican

The Low-Sutherland contest is quite the intra-party scrap.

Sutherland, a firebrand conservative, won his past elections pretty handily. However, the 39th Legislative District got seriously reshaped in redistricting. Communities along U.S. 2 where he dominated are gone, replaced primarily by the city of Lake Stevens, home base for the milder-mannered though nearly as conservative Low.

Democrats and independents may decide this one as they accounted for 40% of votes cast in the primary. Independent political committees sent mailers to potentially decisive voters urging them to oppose Sutherland and not leave the ballot blank. The Jackson Legacy Fund, which backs moderate Democrats, produced one. Responsible Leadership PAC, led by the Washington Association of Realtors and the Washington State Labor Council, did the other.

“Personally, I feel voters are turned off by these types of negative and misleading ads, causing voters to lose interest in the race and possibly choosing not to vote at all,” Sutherland said. “Or these poor ads may even back-fire and voters will choose the candidate who hasn’t engaged in such activities.”

On the front line

Control of the U.S. House of Representatives could come down to the duel between Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier and Republican Matt Larkin in Washington’s 8th Congressional District.

Republicans need to gain at least five seats in electoral battles across the country on Tuesday 8 to retake the majority from Democrats. They view the one Schrier is sitting in as a potential pick-up. And thanks to redistricting, roughly 47,000 voters in Snohomish County will get a say in how things turn out.

The redrawn 8th District is spread across parts of six counties — Snohomish, King, Pierce, Chelan, Kittitas and Douglas. In Snohomish County, Darrington, Granite Falls and communities along U.S. 2 such as Sultan and Gold Bar are in it. So too is part of Monroe.

Polling consistently shows Schrier ahead by a smidgen, a margin that could be erased by the smallest of Red waves.

Too close to call

The tussle for Secretary of State is a close one. The vote-rich, progressive-heavy electorate in Seattle and parts of King County could be the deciders. So too could conservative Republicans.

Democrat Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens, who got appointed secretary of state in November, is up against Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, who is running as a nonpartisan candidate.

She touts that she won’t let partisan politics into the office. The campaign is different. She’s running an ad in the Seattle market hitting Hobbs, a moderate, for voting against “progressive policies” in his tenure in the state Senate. Hobbs, for example, blocked Gov. Jay Inslee’s clean fuel standard when he chaired the Senate Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, Republican state Rep. Brad Klippert s running a write-in campaign for the job. Any vote he gets will come from the political right, voters who might otherwise have cast their lot with Anderson.

With so many undecided voters, this could take a few days to sort out.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Democrats advance assault weapons ban, new rules for gun buyers

The measures passed a House committee without Republican support. They are part of a broader agenda to curb gun violence.

A person and child watch seagulls on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Cold weather returning to Western Washington

Nightly temperatures in the 20s with highs in the 30s were expected this weekend. Cold weather shelters will be open.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville State of the City address set for Feb. 1

Mayor Jon Nehring will highlight 2022 accomplishments and look to the future. Questions from the audience will follow.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A move to require voting and a bicameral chasm on vehicle pursuits

It’s Day 19 and the mood is heating up as the third week of the 2023 legislative session comes to an end.

Lynnwood County Council candidate Joshua Binda is the subject of two complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission. (Josh Binda campaign photo)
Binda fined $1,000 for misuse of campaign contributions

The Lynnwood Council member’s personal use of donor funds was a “serious violation” of campaign law, the state PDC concluded.

Juniper DeCasso, 17, prepares groceries for pickup at the Edmonds Food Bank in Edmonds, Washington on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Scriber Lake High School student Juniper works at the Edmonds Food bank as part of an on-the-job training class that teaches students about career options and goal planning, while also paying them for a part-time internship. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
School program gives Scriber Lake teens class credits — and paychecks

The on-the-job training program offers paid internships and career planning assignments with a real-world feel.

Dr. Robert Carsrud from the 2015 King County Voters Pamphlet. (King County Elections)
State to pay $600K over psychologist’s harassment at Monroe prison

In a federal lawsuit, Tressa Grummer alleged persistent sexual harassment as an intern by her supervisor, Robert Carsrud.

Construction crews work on the Lynnwood Light rail station on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Sound Transit asserts Bellevue-Redmond line won’t delay Lynnwood light rail

Its board approved $6 million to study an East Link “starter line.” Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell said: “Snohomish County wants to ride, too.”

FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at the state Capitol in Olympia, Wash. An effort to balance what is considered the nation's most regressive state tax code comes before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in a case that could overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Justices weigh legality of tax aimed at rebalancing state’s tax code

The state Supreme Court heard arguments about whether to overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s.

Most Read