Brenda Carrington (left) and Jared Mead

Brenda Carrington (left) and Jared Mead

Mead faces Republican challenger in bid to keep council seat

Brenda Carrington hopes to unseat the appointed, Democratic Snohomish County councilman on Nov. 3.

EVERETT — Snohomish County Councilman Jared Mead will face political newcomer Brenda Carrington this November in the race to retain the seat he was appointed to last spring.

The victor will spend the next year representing the council’s 4th district, which includes Mill Creek, part of Bothell, Mountlake Terrace and some unincorporated parts of the county.

Mead, a Democrat from the Mill Creek area, is finishing a term serving the state’s 44th legislative district in the Washington House of Representatives. He was chosen in April by the other council members to succeed Terry Ryan, who stepped down to become the county’s first director of aerospace economic development.

“What I have tried to bring to the council since I’ve been there is a measured and data-driven approach to change,” said Mead, a lifelong resident of Snohomish County with years of experience in politics.

He served on the Mill Creek City Council before defeating a Republican incumbent in 2018 to win his state House seat.

Carrington, a Republican, has worked for Fortune 500 companies and owned and operated businesses in construction, landscaping and interior design. She’s learned how to get things done on a budget, she has said.

“I’m a strong, smart, fearless leader,” she previously told The Daily Herald. “I’ve proven that.”

Mead and Carrington have both emphasized the importance of the county’s role in supporting businesses and residents as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on public health and the economy.

But their views diverge when it comes to almost everything else, from criminal justice reform to the needs brought by explosive population growth in the county’s southern region.

As waves of protests over police brutality swept the nation, affecting Everett and other cities, Mead pushed for county-level discussions on how to bring more equity and accountability to the law and justice system locally.

“We are still dealing with issues with social and racial justice here in our criminal justice system,” said Mead, the chairman of the council’s law and justice committee and a regional advisory group on criminal justice issues. He’s spent the past two months combing through the budget for opportunities to reallocate taxpayer dollars to programs like the one that pairs social workers with law enforcement officers, he said.

Mead also said he supports County Executive Dave Somers’ plan to equip county law enforcement officers with body cameras.

Somers’ 2021 budget proposal includes up to $500,000 for a body camera pilot, although how far that money would go is a question.

Carrington rejects nationwide calls to “defund” law enforcement and put more money toward social services and other programs that promote community well-being. Any cuts to the Sheriff’s Office budget would be detrimental to public safety, she has said.

“I believe our residents deserve to live in safe communities,” Carrington said.

As the south county population continues to grow, Mead has pledged to remain a vocal proponent of public transit projects, if he is elected. He would also support policies that encourage construction of townhomes, apartments and other multi-family housing.

“We can’t just keep zoning single-family,” he said. “That’s a lot of space that we could have put a lot more people on.”

Mead’s campaign has garnered about $39,500 in donations, according to reports filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

In a bid to limit the tax burden on residents, Carrington has said she would not support new taxes without a public vote. She wants to ensure that families and businesses have what they need to rebuild in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

“Everything about the middle class should thrive,” she said. “And I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and see what we can do in that arena.”

Carrington has raised about $4,390 in contributions, campaign finance records show.

Rachel Riley: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @rachel_m_riley.

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