Judge Paul Thompson, left, with Strom Peterson and his wife Maria Montalvo after being sworn in Wednesday afternoon at the Snohomish County Administration Building, in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Judge Paul Thompson, left, with Strom Peterson and his wife Maria Montalvo after being sworn in Wednesday afternoon at the Snohomish County Administration Building, in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

State Rep. Peterson appointed to Snohomish County Council

Carin Chase had by far the most supporters present Thursday, but it was Strom Peterson who won the council’s unanimous vote.

EVERETT — Despite concerns that he will struggle to balance two jobs, the Snohomish County Council voted unanimously Thursday to appoint state Rep. Strom Peterson to fill its District 3 vacancy.

Council member Stephanie Wright stepped down in August during her third and final term to accept a position as a senior policy adviser to Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.

Peterson was sworn in immediately following the special meeting Thursday.

“I’m a big fan of government and what it can do,” he said. “And this is another opportunity to serve.”

Peterson was selected over Edmonds School District director Carin Chase and Snohomish County public defender Colin McMahon of Lynnwood. The three candidates were nominated for the position earlier this month by the county Democratic Committee as law requires.

The committee had deemed Chase, 59, as the top candidate. At least 15 people attended the special meeting to back Chase, by far the largest contingent of supporters present.

Attendee Rosamaria Grazian said she took time off work.

“I’m literally losing money so I can be here,” Grazian said, explaining that Chase has been an ally to the Latino community in Snohomish County before and during her two terms on the school board.

“I am humbled and honored by the outpouring of support,” Chase said. “I hope that whoever is in leadership positions understands that these voices need to be heard, and they obviously showed up because they feel that I am reflecting their needs. That’s real.”

Attendee Kelly Wright gave a passionate speech during public comment arguing that Thursday’s appointment was “corrosive for democracy,” that the decision should have been left to the people, and condemning Peterson for “double-dipping” in political positions.

“No one serves in Congress without winning an election,” Wright said. “Why should the power of incumbency be handed to someone when we have four elections on the calendar every year?”

Wright called on council member Sam Low — who is running for the state’s 39th Legislative District — to recuse himself from the vote for the same “double-dipping” bias. Low did not recuse himself.

The county’s District 3 spans Lynnwood, Edmonds, Woodway and a swath of unincorporated Snohomish County.

Peterson, 54, was elected to the state House in 2014 and is currently running for re-election in his $57,876-a-year job as representative of the 21st Legislative District. He is chair of the Housing, Human Services and Veterans Committee and also serves on the Capital Budget and the Civil Rights and Judiciary committees.

He intends to serve in both the state and county positions.

Peterson also spent six years on the Edmonds City Council before entering the Legislature. He and his wife owned the Cheesemonger’s Table for two decades, until selling it last year.

His newly procured $126,571-a-year council job is up for election in November 2023.

Peterson announced he will run in next year’s county election in hopes of securing a full four-year term.

Chase heartily congratulated Peterson for his appointment and said “there are decisions to be made” about her participation in next November’s council member election.

Regarding the vote, County Council member Jared Mead credited the Tulalip Tribes’ endorsement of Peterson as a contributing factor in his decision to nominate Peterson.

Council Chair Megan Dunn voted for Peterson, but she also expressed concerns about his ability to handle the responsibilities required for both jobs. Ultimately, however, she felt that his interview responses quelled concerns.

Peterson was sworn in about 10 minutes after the council vote.

“We’re able as elected officials to serve as conduits to the people,” Peterson said.

Herald writer Jerry Cornfield contributed to this report.

Kayla Dunn: 425-339-3449; kayla.dunn@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @KaylaJ_Dunn.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Crews will reduce lanes and eventually close northbound Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville this week to work on a bridge overpass girder. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Overnight lane closures, I-5 detour set between Everett, Marysville

Crews need to replace a girder on the 12th Street NE bridge that was damaged by an overheight load in September 2021.

Mike Rosen
Businessman Mike Rosen announces campaign for mayor of Edmonds

Rosen, a city planning board member, is backed by five former Edmonds mayors. It’s unclear if incumbent Mike Nelson will run again.

FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. After more than half a century, Boeing is rolling its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing’s last 747 to roll off the Everett assembly line

The Queen of the Skies was dethroned by smaller, more fuel-efficient jets. The last 747s were built for a cargo carrier.

PUD workers install new transformers along 132nd Street on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Electric vehicles spur big forecast jump for PUD demand

Not long ago, the Snohomish County PUD projected 50,000 electric cars registered in the county by 2040. Now it expects up to 660,000.

Traffic moves northbound on I-5 through Everett on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everett

Construction crews need warmer temps for the work to remove what a reader described as “mini raised speed bumps.”

After a day of learning to fight fires, Snohomish firefighter recruit Chau Nguyen flakes a hose as other recruits load the hoses onto a fire truck April 19, 2018, at the training facility on S. Machias Rd. in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)
Lawsuit: Everett firefighter sexually harassed numerous recruits

Chau Nguyen resigned earlier this year, long after the first complaint about his behavior at the county’s fire training academy.

People work on the roof of the Stilly Valley Senior Center on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Seniors evacuated from Stilly Valley Center housing due to roof damage

Residents said water damage issues began years ago. Mid-winter repairs forced them into hotels.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Trade in an unloaded gun for a loaded gift card in Mukilteo, Everett

Mukiteo’s Gun Buyback is Saturday. Everett has $25,000 to give out at its exchange Dec. 17.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Sauk-Suiattle Tribe alleges state unfairly charges online sales tax

Tribal members on the reservation are charged state taxes despite a federal exemption. The tribe says it’s a sovereignty issue.

Most Read