EVERETT — Mayoral candidate Judy Tuohy has snagged the endorsement of Brian Sullivan and could win backing from one of the city’s prime Democratic Party organizations this week.
Sullivan made his decision after the two met to discuss the primary in which he finished third, behind Tuohy and Cassie Franklin. The two women, who both serve on the City Council, are competing to succeed Mayor Ray Stephanson, who chose not to seek re-election.
“Judy met the mark for me,” Sullivan said Friday. “I have nothing disparaging to say about Cassie. Judy is an old friend I’ve known for 20 years. She has more time on the council that I think makes her better prepared to be mayor.”
Sullivan said he’ll help out this fall but he and Tuohy did not carve out a specific role for him. Tuohy received the Democratic Snohomish County Councilman’s endorsement in time to include it in the voter pamphlet for the general election.
“He certainly is well known,” Tuohy said. “Whenever you pick up an endorsement of someone who has a following of voters, you will get consideration by those voters, which is great.”
Franklin won the primary with 4,233 votes, or 31.6 percent. Tuohy finished second with 3,947 votes, or 29.5 percent and Sullivan came in next with 3,884 votes, or 29 percent. Shean Nasin, who collected 9.6 percent, has told both candidates he’s not sure if he’ll endorse in the general election.
Franklin said she made several attempts to speak with Sullivan following the election but did not hear back until he sent her an email Thursday informing her of his decision.
“He did what he wanted to do,” she said. “I respect that. I find it unfortunate that he didn’t take the time to talk to me. It is unfortunate he chose to endorse someone prior to meeting with both candidates.”
In the meantime, a few Democratic politicians who endorsed Sullivan in the primary are starting to choose sides in the general election. Tuohy and Franklin are Democrats.
Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary, Snohomish County Councilman Terry Ryan and state Sen. Marko Liias of Lynnwood are backing Franklin while state Rep. John Lovick of Mill Creek is supporting Tuohy. Franklin also has garnered the endorsement of Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, a Republican, since the primary.
On Wednesday, Franklin and Tuohy will vie for the endorsement of the 38th Legislative District Democrats. Most of the city is in that legislative district.
Some members may already have made up their minds, according to an Aug. 8 email sent out by the person overseeing the group’s endorsement panel. In it, committee chairwoman Mary Rollins notes Tuohy hoped the group could decide by Aug. 10 so the information could be included in the voter pamphlet.
As Rollins noted at that time, waiting for this week’s membership meeting would be too late.
“I have polled the endorsement committee and have had an overwhelming response to go ahead and endorse Judy,” she wrote. “If there is a consensus that Judy would be endorsed by the 38th LD members and PCO’s, (precinct committee officers) I will call and tell her as much so that she may put that information into the voter’s pamphlet.”
Charlene Rawson, chairwoman of the 38th Legislative District Democrats, said it was later decided to follow the regular process and not make a decision via email.
Meanwhile, the group’s $10,000 contribution to Sullivan’s campaign remains under review by the state Public Disclosure Commission.
A complaint filed with the PDC alleged the Everett Firefighters Local 46 made a $10,500 donation to the Democratic Party organization with the understanding it would be used in support of Sullivan. The complaint asserts it was a “pass-through” donation the 38th Legislative District Democrats failed to report as an earmarked contribution.
The group’s finance chairman has denied wrongdoing. Commission staff are assessing the allegation.
In addition to politicians, unions representing the city’s firefighters and police officers, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751 are all considering their next steps. The trio of labor groups strongly backed Sullivan in the primary.
The firefighters’ political action committee plans to meet with the candidates Aug. 28 and members will consider an endorsement in September. Franklin and Tuohy each received the union’s endorsement in their respective runs for City Council.
The mayoral candidates are slated to meet with members of the police union Sept. 12.
Members of the machinists political committee are meeting separately with each candidate then making a recommendation to the full membership. No decision is expected before September.