From left: Nate Nehring, Nicole Ng-A-Qui and Richard Yust.

From left: Nate Nehring, Nicole Ng-A-Qui and Richard Yust.

Nehring faces two Democrats in County Council primary

Nicole Ng-A-Qui and Richard Yust are running to unseat the Republican, who joined the council in 2017.

MARYSVILLE — Republican Snohomish County Councilman Nate Nehring will face two Democrats in the August primary: small business owner Nicole Ng-A-Qui and golf course groundskeeper Richard Yust.

The top two candidates will advance to the November general election.

The council’s District 1 covers Marysville, Lake Stevens, Stanwood, Darrington and Granite Falls.

Nehring, 26, was appointed to the District 1 seat in early 2017 after former Councilman Ken Klein left for a job in Executive Dave Somers’ office.

Later that year, Nehring was elected to a four-year term, taking nearly 60% of the vote against Marysville Democrat Raymond Miler.

If re-elected, Nehring said, he’d continue to focus on addressing homelessness, promoting good jobs and maintaining a balanced budget.

Currently, he and others on the council are working on how to spend the $160 million headed to the county via the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

“That’s a once-in-a-generation type of thing,” he said. “The federal government doesn’t usually send hundreds of millions of dollars to counties. I think it’s very important we spend that wisely.”

Another focus, he said, is to continue respectful and bipartisan discussion on the council, which currently consists of a 3-2 Democratic majority.

“Everybody, typically, has been very good about being open and transparent,” Nehring said. “That’s been really important to me. I think that sets a good example for the community.”

Ng-A-Qui, 48, runs a business as an arborist. She said she’s running to protect the district’s natural environment from “cut-and-pave” development.

“I’ve seen it go on for years,” she said. “We just cut down everything. We need to and can do things differently, and do things better.”

Another priority for her is ensuring federal relief dollars make their way to small businesses that took a hit during the pandemic, she said.

“I feel like they could use some help getting back on their feet,” she said.

The last Democrat to win in the district was Rick Larsen, who narrowly defeated Republican Bob Kraski in 1997.

Ng-A-Qui, who lives in the Seven Lakes area, said she’s ready to reach across the aisle to find consensus in the area.

“I live with a Trump supporter,” Ng-A-Qui said. “I understand where the other side is coming from.”

Yust did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Nehring has endorsements from County Councilman Sam Low, Sheriff Adam Fortney, county Prosecuting Attorney Adam Cornell, former county Executive Bob Drewel and dozens of city leaders within his district.

Some local Democrats are backing Ng-A-Qui, who’s received endorsements from County Councilwoman Megan Dunn, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and state Reps. Emily Wicks and April Berg, both of Everett, and state Sen. Mona Das of Bothell.

Nehring holds a sizeable lead in fundraising. So far, he’s raised $211,000 and spent about $27,000, according to state campaign finance data.

Ng-A-Qui has received about $16,000 in campaign contributions.

Yust declared he will not raise more than $5,000 and thus does not have to declare his contributions.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Staff are evaluating two more light rail alternatives for the Everett Link extension. One would follow Interstate 5 north of 128th Street SW to the Everett Mall and back to the freeway. Another would go west of 128th Street SW to Highway 99 and north to Casino Road. (Sound Transit)
Snohomish County leaders reject light rail routes bypassing Paine Field

Those options weren’t what voters approved — and would be like “butchering” the plan, the Snohomish County executive said.

A Sound Transit train arrives at Westlake Station in downtown Seattle. (Sue Misao / Herald file) May 2019
Should light rail skip Paine Field and Boeing? We asked, you answered

More than 300 Herald readers responded to an online poll. Here are the results.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Highway 9 work could disrupt travel through Lake Stevens

Construction is set for roundabouts on South Lake Stevens Road and one at North Davies Road and Vernon Road.

Lynnwood City Council members, from left: Jim Smith, Shirley Sutton, Shannon Sessions, Josh Binda, George Hurst, Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, and Patrick Decker. (City of Lynnwood)
No penalty for Lynnwood council member’s ‘underinformed’ views on racism

The City Council didn’t censure Jim Smith after a report found he discriminated against a Black city employee.

All ears: Mukilteo couple provides surgery for kids born without ears

Dr. Prabhat and Trish Bhama are part of a HUGS volunteer team providing treatment for microtia in Guatemala.

(Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - US Forest Service)
U.S. 2 reopens east of Index as Bolt Creek wildfire moves north

The highway was blocked off earlier this week as the fire spread.

People gather outside of the new Northwest Carpenters Institute building prior to a grand opening celebration Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022, in Burlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Building a workforce: Northwest Carpenters expand training center

About 160 Snohomish County tradespeople take the apprentice classes in Burlington center. There’s ample room to grow.

A Coast Guard cutter searches for a crashed chartered floatplane near Mutiny Bay Monday afternoon in Freeland, Washington on September 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
5 more bodies recovered from floatplane crash off Whidbey

About 80% of the plane, including the engine, was recovered using remotely operated vessels.

Conceptual rendering for a future section of Smokey Point Boulevard between 174th Place NE and 200th Street NE. (City of Arlington)
Plan seeks to transform Smokey Point Blvd. into ‘neighborhood corridor’

City officials hope roundabouts, sidewalks and more will turn 2 miles of busy road into a neighborhood street.

Most Read