SNOHOMISH — With the mayoral race a year away, City Councilmember Linda Redmon is the first to announce she is running to become the next leader of Snohomish.
Mayor John Kartak’s term is up at the end of December 2021. He has not yet said if he will run again.
It has been a tough year in Snohomish, and it has become clear there is a divide in the city. It reached a boiling point in May when groups of people gathered in Snohomish in response to an antifa threat that did not materialize. Many carried guns and some displayed racist symbols. That event has continually been discussed at city council meetings and has been covered by local and national news outlets.
If Redmon is elected mayor, one of her main goals, she said, would be to mend that division.
She hopes to make the city more inclusive for those who may feel they have not been heard in the past, including people of color.
“I have the willingness to deal with it and more understanding about the issues, and I really feel like that will help Snohomish come together better,” she said. “We are going to have to come together to deal with the economic impacts, the mental health impacts, the community spirit impacts with some of the division that we have seen, as well as the COVID impacts.”
She also would focus on guiding the city out of the pandemic.
Redmon, 50, worked as a nutritionist and massage therapist when she moved here from Bainbridge Island in 2009. She and her husband run a health care practice in downtown Snohomish. Their two children have attended Snohomish schools.
She began to show up to city council meetings a few years ago, when the city was preparing to tear down Hal Moe Pool. Around that time she was encouraged to run for a council position and later was elected.
“For the past year, people have been walking up to me in town or calling me and saying, ‘Would you run for mayor?’” she said. “That just kind of escalated after everything that happened downtown in May and June.”
Before that, she hadn’t thought about it much. She also has built strong relationships with state and local leaders, she said. Now she believes that could be an advantage as mayor.
“I feel like we’re really going to need that,” she said.
Redmon filed with the Public Disclosure Commission Nov. 13, making her campaign official. She decided to do so early to drum up support.
Kartak, 55, is the city’s first strong mayor in more than four decades, a change in the form of government that was approved by Snohomish voters. He won his election by 80 votes.
“There’s a series of responsibilities that come into play as soon as you announce,” he said. “So I’m not ready to announce yet.”
“I’m really enjoying my duties as they are right now, being mayor,” he added.
Kartak ran as a Republican for a state House seat in the 44th District in the November general election. Incumbent Democrat Rep. John Lovick was re-elected by a margin of 57 to 43 percent.
The Snohomish mayor position is nonpartisan.