State Sen. McAuliffe’s retirement leads to scramble in 1st Legislative District

Democratic State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe’s surprising retirement has led to a scramble among candidates in the 1st Legislative District.

Weekend events have left Democratic State Rep. Luis Moscoso, fellow Democrat Guy Palumbo and Republican Art Coday running for the senate position; Democratic incumbent Derek Stanford and Republican Brian Travis running for one seat in the House of Representatives; and Republican Ed Barton running for the position that Moscoso is giving up, with unnamed Democrats expected to declare for that position.

After McAuliffe’s announcement Wednesday that she wouldn’t seek a seventh four-year term, Moscoso announced that he would seek the senate position along with Palumbo and Barton. Then, after the Saturday Snohomish County Republican Convention, Barton announced that he would seek the House seat vacated by Moscoso, and Coday said that he would challenge Moscoso and Palumbo for the senate seat being vacated by McAuliffe. District Democratic Chairman Dan Willner said Saturday, “We have at least two people interested in running for the spot,” adding that one or both may announce at the District Democratic meeting Monday. Travis announced at the beginning of January that he would challenge Stanford.

Moscoso has served three two-year terms in the State House of Representatives. Fellow Democratic senate candidate Palumbo, a Snohomish County Fire District 7 commissioner and chairman of the Snohomish County Planning Commission, ran for the same position in the 2012 primary. Republican Coday, a physician, ran against Democratic State Sen. Cindy Ryu in 2010, when he lived in the 32nd District.

Barton, who plans to run for the House position that Moscoso will give up, ran against Moscoso two years ago.

Stanford, like Moscoso, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010. Travis lost a bid for the same position in the 2012 primary. He ran unsuccessfully in 2015 for a place on the Snohomish County Charter Review Commission.

Public Disclosure Commission reports showed that Palumbo had reported raising $45,500 through Friday with no spending. Moscoso will be able to use the money he had raised for a campaign for re-election to the House in his campaign for the Senate; Moscoso has reported raising $22,958 and spending $11,227. McAuliffe retired after raising $67,232 and spending $60,432; state law allows her to return the surplus to donors, give it to other candidates or give it to charity.

Barton can use the $2,670 he had raised for a senate race to a campaign for the House. He had spent $533.

Stanford has reported raising $20,580 for a re-election campaign, while spending $1,074.

Registering with the Public Disclosure Commission allows a candidate to raise and spend money for the Aug. 2 primary and Nov. 8 general election. Candidates file for ballot position May 16-20.

Moscoso said Thursday that McAuliffe’s retirement had come as a surprise. He said that he and McAuliffe had been planning to open a joint campaign office.

He added that he wants to continue to work on transportation issues, particularly as they affect the 1st Legislative District, which includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell including Maltby, the north part of Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland.

He said that the other candidates are good people, and that he hopes to repeat the kind of positive campaign that he said that he had against Barton two years ago.

Evan Smith can be reached at

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