Bob Hagglund, left, and Dave Somers

Bob Hagglund, left, and Dave Somers

Incumbents lead for Snohomish County executive, council, assessor

Dave Somers and Megan Dunn, both Democrats, held big leads in county executive and county council races.

EVERETT — Incumbents were sailing to re-election Tuesday in races for county executive, County Council and assessor.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, a Democrat, led Republican challenger Bob Hagglund in the race for the county’s top job.

Somers took 61.4% of the vote in Tuesday’s first batch of results. Hagglund had 38.4%.

With initial results in, Democrat Megan Dunn appeared to have defended her seat on the County Council against Republican challenger Georgia Fisher.

Dunn took 63.4% of the vote in the first ballot drop. Fisher trailed with 36.4%.

County Treasurer Brian Sullivan and Clerk Heidi Percy were both unopposed for their re-election bids.

County Executive

This was Somers’ final campaign, as county executives cannot serve more than three consecutive terms in office. Each term is four years.

Somers cited his work tackling homelessness, illegal drugs and housing shortages — as well as his economic record in the face of the pandemic.

Hagglund ran on what he called a “crisis of hopelessness,” pushing for fiscal responsibility and a move away from government-funded solutions.

Somers will be responsible for helping shape the next iteration of the Snohomish County comprehensive plan, which will designate how land is used. Hagglund had said he wanted to build more homes on farmland.

The county is expected to grow significantly over the next two decades, perhaps reaching over a million people by 2050.

Over the next four years, the county executive will also have a key role in deciding how nearly $30 million in opioid settlement funds are spent. The money will be allocated to the county gradually over 20 years.

Snohomish County Council Position 2

Megan Dunn, left, and Georgia Fisher

Megan Dunn, left, and Georgia Fisher

This election was expected to determine the partisan leaning of the council, where votes often up in 3-2 in favor of the more progressive council members.

With Dunn leading, it appeared the tilt would stay that way.

Dunn hoped a win would ensure the County Council continues to address homelessness through more temporary housing and a model that prioritizes shelter over sobriety.

Fisher was against the “Housing First” model.

Position 2 represents Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip.

District 3 council member Strom Peterson, who also serves as a state representative, ran unopposed. His district represents southwest Snohomish County.

Assessor

Linda Hjelle, left, and Joe Wanagel

Linda Hjelle, left, and Joe Wanagel

In the assessor’s race, incumbent Linda Hjelle appeared to clinch a third and final term in office after facing political newcomer Joe Wanagel, a landlord.

Hjelle had 69.6% of the vote. Wanagel took 30%.

The county assessor is responsible for valuing nearly 300,000 properties in the county. Property taxes are determined based on property value and the taxing district.

Wanagel ran on a platform arguing property taxes are too high and the assessor’s office relies too heavily on a mass appraisal system.

Hjelle worked in the assessor’s office for over 30 years. In her previous two terms, she expanded the number of online resources to help people understand how property taxes work.

Jenelle Baumbach: 360-352-8623; jenelle.baumbach@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jenelleclar.

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