The political season gets real: It’s candidate filing week

Candidates are lining up for 188 local races. Watch for turnover among mayors and county officials.

EVERETT — A season of political churn is headed your way.

There’s sure to be an election this year — or four or five — wherever you live in Snohomish County. Who exactly winds up in the mix for these local contests becomes official at week’s end. Candidates have until Friday afternoon to file with the county Auditor’s Office.

“Odd-year elections are more complicated for us because there are so many races and jurisdictions going in the election,” Auditor Carolyn Weikel said.

How many? In all, 188 offices, from county executive and Superior Court judges, to water and hospital districts. Hopefuls for school boards, fire districts and a couple of port commissions also will be hashing it out in different corners of the county.

The primary election is Aug. 6. The top two candidates in each race will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Some campaigns got started last year, but others have yet to begin.

Edmonds and Lake Stevens are in line for new mayors, given pending retirements of the incumbents. In Everett and 10 other municipalities, a majority of the council seats will be on the ballot.

At least half of the county posts up for election will install a new person, because term limits prevent the current officeholder from running again.

“A lot of historical knowledge is walking out the door,” said Weikel, one of the term-limited officials.

Also facing term limits are Clerk Sonya Kraski and Treasurer Kirke Sievers. The county charter prevents anybody from holding a county office for more than three consecutive full terms.

The race that’s attracted the most interest so far? That would be County Councilman Brian Sullivan’s seat. The Everett Democrat is set to leave that job representing Council District 2 at the end of the year, also because of term limits.

As of Friday, eight people had filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission to raise money in that race. The district covers Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip. The likely contenders include sitting elected officials and other political insiders.

Sullivan’s Democratic colleague, Councilwoman Stephanie Wright, will be seeking a third term in District 3, covering the Edmonds, Lynnwood and Woodway areas.

County Executive Dave Somers, Assessor Linda Hjelle and Sheriff Ty Trenary all have announced plans to run for another term. Of those three, Trenary, as of Friday, was the only one with a declared opponent. His challenger is Snohomish County sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Fortney, who has worked in the office for more than 20 years and until recently was the longtime union president for the Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

The political makeup of some cities could change in big ways.

In Edmonds, Mayor Dave Earling plans to retire. Councilmembers Mike Nelson and Neil Tibbott have started campaigning to succeed him.

Similarly, Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer has announced that he’ll step down at the end of the year. Councilmembers Kurt Hilt and Brett Gailey are looking to fill their city’s top job.

Other cities with an independently elected mayor up for election this year are Arlington, Marysville and Sultan, plus the town of Darrington.

Four of seven council seats will be on the ballot in Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Stanwood, Sultan and Woodway.

In Mill Creek, five of seven council seats will get voted on, and in Darrington, four of five council seats are up for grabs.

Two of three spots on the Everett Port Commission are up; and two of five at the Port of Edmonds.

Online filing starts at 9 a.m. Monday and lasts until 4 p.m. Friday. In-person filing is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day this week.

To file for office, an individual must be a registered voter.

Positions may have additional residency requirements, a minimum age or a filing fee, according to the auditor’s office.

A complete list of offices up for election can be found at

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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