Marysville councilman launches campaign for state House

Mark James, a Republican in his first term, will try to unseat Democratic Rep. John Lovick in 2020.

Mark James

Mark James

MARYSVILLE — City Councilman Mark James has launched a campaign to unseat veteran Democratic state Rep. John Lovick in 2020.

James, a Republican, is taking on the incumbent Mill Creek state lawmaker in the 44th Legislative District which encompasses Lake Stevens, Mill Creek and Snohomish, plus parts of Everett and Marysville.

“I will use my time, experience, and ability to help our community and Washington State as a whole, to increase its efficiency and maintain transparency,” James wrote in his campaign announcement. “I will promote policies that will keep our state safe, clean, and vibrant.”

He reached the Marysville City Council, a nonpartisan post, by unseating longtime incumbent Donna Wright in 2017. James garnered 59% in his first bid for elected office.

James, 57, serves on the Snohomish County Planning Commission and represents the city on the Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board. He’s lived in Marysville for nearly 30 years, runs Hometown Values Savings and is a U.S. Army veteran.

“I understand the hard work needed to be successful and how government can help or hinder those it is supposed to serve,” he wrote in his announcement. “My commitment is to make government work for the people and be more accessible.”

One reason for running, he said, is to address issues involving homelessness and mental health.

Another is to push back against what he described as “excessive taxing.”

“In this past year’s legislative session, legislators like Representative John Lovick passed billions in new taxes even though the state budget had a surplus and the 44th District overwhelmingly voted against these new taxes,” he said in an email. “We need representatives that will bring balance and represent all the people, not just vote with Seattle’s interests.”

Lovick said this week that he will seek re-election and vowed “to work very, very hard” for district residents.

The retired Washington State Patrol trooper began his political career on the Mill Creek City Council.

He won a state House seat in 1998 and was in his fifth term in 2007 when he ran for Snohomish County sheriff and won. He was appointed Snohomish County executive in 2013 after the resignation of Aaron Reardon. In 2015, he ran for a full term and lost to another Democrat, Dave Somers.

Lovick returned to Olympia in 2016, filling the vacancy created when state Rep. Hans Dunshee resigned to take Somers’ seat on the Snohomish County Council.

“I am honored as always to represent the 44th,” Lovick said. “I welcome every opportunity to spend time with the voters.”

The candidate filing period is in May.

The top two finishers in the August primary advance to the general election in November 2020.

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

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