Snohomish County assessor to seek second term

Linda Hjelle is one of several candidates to make early plans for countywide contests this year.

Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle is running for a second term in 2019.

Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle is running for a second term in 2019.

EVERETT — Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle has announced plans to seek a second term in office.

In other countywide contests, candidates are getting a head start on campaigns months ahead of the official candidate filing period in May.

A manager in the county clerk’s office is looking to take over for the term-limited county clerk. And a state elections employee is joining the race to replace the county auditor, who also is term-limited.

“Leading the assessor’s office over the last three years has been a great honor,” Hjelle said, in a campaign announcement. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to implement innovative improvements and provide information to the public in a variety of ways.”

The assessor is responsible for updating property values each year and for calculating the levy rates used to determine property taxes.

Hjelle had worked in the office for more than 25 years and was deputy auditor at the time of her election in 2015. In a recent campaign announcement, Hjelle touted her work to bring in appraisal and administrative software, as well as a tax calculator to improve transparency.

Hjelle, 56, lives near Granite Falls.

In other contests, Heidi Percy hopes to lead the county clerk’s office. She started at an entry-level position more than 20 years ago and is now the judicial operations manager, the third-highest-ranking person after Clerk Sonya Kraski and the chief deputy clerk. Kraski has served three consecutive four-year terms and cannot run again because of term limits.

“I care about the clerk’s office,” Percy said. “I know firsthand the importance of the clerk’s office and the role it plays in the judicial system. As the keeper of the record for the Superior Court, I know how critical it is to protect the integrity and the accuracy of the court record.”

In the auditor’s race, Cindy Gobel intends to run to take over for term-limited Auditor Carolyn Weikel. Gobel worked as a county elections official for a dozen years before accepting a certification and training position under Secretary of State Kim Wyman. Gobel lives in Marysville.

County Elections Manager Garth Fell also is seeking Weikel’s job.

In addition to elections, the auditor is responsible for animal control, licensing services and document recording.

The clerk, assessor and auditor are nonpartisan positions.

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

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