EVERETT — A historic and intrigue-filled election season gets formally under way Monday in communities across Snohomish County.
Starting at 9 a.m., candidates can file to run for a slew of city and county offices, as well as seats on school boards, fire commissions, water districts and the Municipal Court bench.
This is an off-year election with no contests for federal or statewide offices on the ballot. But there’s plenty at stake as decisions this fall could reshape leadership of many cities and the county as a whole.
Voters will be filling seats on the County Council and on city councils in Arlington, Bothell, Brier, Darrington, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Snohomish, Stanwood, Sultan and the town of Woodway.
They’ll also be electing mayors in the cities of Brier, Everett, Gold Bar, Index, Lynnwood, Monroe, Mukilteo, Snohomish, Stanwood and Woodway.
“Local elections matter,” said Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell, noting 178 offices overall are up for election this year. “We saw significant participation last year and we just hope people continue to recognize elections make an impact on their daily lives.”
The primary is Aug. 3 and the general election is Nov. 2. If there are three or more candidates in a race, only the top two finishers in the primary will advance to the fall ballot.
History will be made in Everett where, for the first time, five City Council seats will be chosen by districts. This changeover is creating opportunities for new faces to join the council — as voters intended when they approved the transformation in 2018.
And with incumbent councilmembers Scott Bader, Scott Murphy and Jeff Moore not seeking re-election, there’s certain to be new members elected.
Bader, who lives in District 1, had hoped to move to south Everett and run for the District 5 seat. But he didn’t move and didn’t want to face a fellow councilman, Paul Roberts, who is running for another term.
Murphy, who also resides in District 1, is forgoing a bid for re-election to seek a seat on the Port of Everett Commission. He said he considered pursuing another term but decided to seek a new challenge. Potentially facing a colleague did not drive his decision, he said.
And Moore, who lives in District 5 and in his third term, said he decided awhile ago to retire.
Councilwoman Liz Vogeli is running for another term. She will be vying in the new District 4.
Meanwhile, two community activists — Greg Lineberry and Paula Rhyne — are pursuing a seat in a district in which no current council member resides. Lineberry,an Everett police officer, and Rhyne, a legislative aide for Snohomish County Councilwoman Megan Dunn, are vying in District 2, which includes the Bayside, Glacier View, Lowell, Pinehurst-Beverly Park, Port Gardner, South Forest Park and Valley View neighborhoods.
In Lynnwood, Mayor Nicola Smith is retiring and it looks like City Councilmembers Christina Frizzell, Jim Smith and George Hurst will compete to succeed her.
In Mukilteo, Mayor Jennifer Gregerson will face a tough challenge from Joe Marine, a former mayor and current member of the City Council.
Also three members of the County Council — Republicans Nate Nehring and Sam Low and Democrat Jared Mead — are up for re-election. Nehring and Mead have yet to draw opponents. Jordan Sears and Brandy Donaghy, both Democrats, are running against Low.
Candidates can file online at www.snoco.org/elections through 4 p.m. Friday and until 5 p.m. if they do it in person at the Snohomish County Auditor’s office in Everett. The office is on the first floor of the Administration West Building at 3000 Rockefeller Avenue in Everett.
To file for office, an individual must be a registered voter. There are fees associated with most, but not all, offices. Age and residency requisites may also apply.
Reporter Jerry Cornfield: firstname.lastname@example.org | @dospueblos