MUKILTEO — He’s the guy who never had to run for office.
He was appointed to the City Council last year. Now, with no opponents, he’s a shoo-in for victory in the November election.
Yet he put up vivid orange campaign signs: “Jason Moon, Mukilteo City Council.”
What’s up with that?
Moon, the first Korean American on the council, wants his presence known.
“This is especially crucial in a leadership position, where the visibility of individuals like me is not yet the norm,” Moon said. “Even when I attend different events and meetings, there’s often an assumption that I’m involved in tech or marketing. At the Lighthouse Festival, some people were, ‘Oh, you are on the council?’”
Multiple signs along Mukilteo Speedway spout the names of the six candidates in the races for the other three council seats up for grabs. It can be a hotly contested process to get on this council, a post paying $500 a month.
In early 2022, Moon was selected from 10 applicants and unanimously approved by all council members to fill the seat vacated by Joe Marine when he was elected mayor.
Serving on the city’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission in 2021 got Moon interested in city politics.
Moon, 41, a Microsoft customer success account manager, grew up in Snohomish County and moved to Mukilteo six years ago. He is married with two sons, 4 and 7.
While new on council, due to feedback from his parents and others in the Korean community, Moon made a plea to members to be courteous to each other during these public meetings that could get insulting at times.
“I think overall they are being more respectful,” he said.
Moon signed up to run for Position 7 during the candidate filing week in May this year. Filers can choose any position and change positions during that week.
“I was nervous,” he said. “Every day I was checking.”
He was surprised yet skeptical to find no contenders.
“I thought maybe it was a strategic thing,” he said.
In prior years, there have been last-minute switcheroos of candidates changing to run for different seats. Almost like a game of musical chairs. That didn’t happen this year. Nor was there a primary election battle.
Moon said not having an opponent is “a blessing and a curse.”
If opposed, he’d be knocking on doors and waving signs.
“I don’t have the opportunity to get to know as many people. I think it would have been fun. It’s always good to have opposing views,” he said. “My wife is glad I don’t have an opponent. I can spend more time at home.”
He planned to order 150 orange campaign signs, but after being unopposed ordered 35. He decided to skip the orange T-shirts.
“Orange is my favorite color,” he said. “Growing up, going to the clearance section, orange was always there. It was a default. That’s a cool looking puffer jacket, but it’s orange. Why not? In college, orange became my thing. I used to have an orange tracksuit.”
His watch face is orange.
His politicking website, hellojasonmoon.com, has endorsements that include politicians, Mukfest Pirates, and ”the famous $8 haircut” barber.
He runs the website.
“I’m trying to be as frugal as I can,” he said.
He didn’t have to solicit campaign contributions, but follows the guidelines.
“Same rules, but the motivation isn’t there for the donors,” he said. “My dad donated $1,000.”
Public disclosure data show he received a total of $1,300, the biggest chunk from Dad.
Moon used the money for signs. One hangs in his parents’ longtime business, Prince Cleaners in Lynnwood.
Council incumbents Richard Emery and Riaz Khan both have contenders in Positions 4 and 5. Two newbies are vying for the Position 6 seat held by Elisabeth Crawford, the council president who is not seeking re-election.
Why is nobody running against Moon?
“He rapidly became a political star,” said Mike Dixon, a former water and wastewater commissioner. “He’s an articulate, smart guy and he’s a nice guy.”
“I like Jason Moon’s working record,” political newcomer Ashvin Sanghvi said.
Sanghvi is challenging Emery, who is seeking a third elected term.
“When I was choosing this I thought that Richard might not even run,” Sanghvi said. “Three hours after I put my hat in the ring, Richard did.”
He could have switched, but he didn’t.
“May the best man win,” Sanghvi said.