Who’s in 1st? Redistrict plan due Saturday

By Susanna Ray

Herald Writer

State Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, is likely going to be drawn out of his district in the new map of legislative and congressional districts that’s due out Saturday.

Not only that, but Everett voters face the possibility of being moved from the 2nd to the 1st Congressional District —something that infuriated locals so much when it was attempted two decades ago, they managed to reverse it by suing the state in federal court.

And Snohomish County will likely get another legislative district added to the six it already wholly or partially has within its borders.

These are just some of the major changes under way as five redistricting commissioners — two Democrats, two Republicans and one chairman — put the finishing touches on the contentious map. They have to come up with a compromise by midnight Saturday.

The process occurs every 10 years after new Census figures come out. Each district is supposed to have a roughly equal number of people in it. The lines are supposed to be drawn in a way that doesn’t divide communities.

They’re also supposed to allow lawmakers to adequately represent constituents. For example, if a district is a drastic mix of rural and urban areas, the representatives might be spread too thin to fight for everyone’s interests.

For Dunshee’s 39th Legislative District, that equality mandate means a bunch of trees will likely replace many of the people currently within its borders.

The 39th District was the second-fastest growing district in the state over the past decade (the 17th District in the Vancouver area was first). So the commissioners are thinking about moving the border further east from I-5 and then adding all of rural eastern Skagit County, as well. That would reduce the number of constituents, but it would be a huge increase in land size.

The move would push Snohomish, where Dunshee lives, into the 44th District for next year’s elections. Dunshee said he’d probably stay put in that case and just run against Rep. Dave Schmidt, R-Bothell, next year, rather than buy a new home to stay in the 39th.

"I just finished the bathroom and the new woodstove hearth," Dunshee said, "so I don’t think my wife would allow me to move."

The district’s other representative, Republican Kirk Pearson of Monroe, also lives on the border and therefore is at risk. Plans the commissioners are currently considering keep him within the district, although one plan would split Monroe in half.

In other local legislative districts, the 38th and 21st both need to take in more constituents.

The Tulalip Reservation will probably be moved from the 10th to the 38th. The 1st will probably be pushed mostly into Snohomish County, leaving a little bit in King County so as not to dislocate two of its lawmakers who live in Bothell.

And the 32nd, which is currently wholly within King County, would probably balloon upward to take in a tiny corner of Snohomish County.

The 2nd Congressional District needs to lose about 10 percent of its population to make it equal with the rest of the state’s districts. Those constituents will likely be absorbed by the 1st District.

But how to cut the pie promises to be an issue of contention.

Does Everett fit better with cities in the urbanized southwest corner of Snohomish County, such as Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, or with cities within the largely rural areas that make up the rest of the district, like Mount Vernon and Bellingham?

"Some people say historically, Everett’s the core of the 2nd District, and that’s true … but lines change," said Commissioner Dick Derham, a Republican. "Everett will be the largest city of the district, wherever it is, but where does it fit best? That’s the question.

"In my view, the differences between Everett and Lynnwood are not as great as the differences between Everett and Mount Vernon," Derham said.

Everett Mayor Ed Hansen disagrees. He asked the commission to keep the city in the 2nd District, saying Everett shares more common interests with those northern cities because they’re all county seats.

Political wrangling comes into big play here: Moving Everett would take away the district’s Democratic voting base for freshman U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, who’s up for re-election next year.

So Democrats would rather chop off the bottom strip all the way across Snohomish County and add it to the 1st District instead. That would put small towns such as Gold Bar and Index in the same district with Lynnwood, Bothell and Bainbridge Island.

You can call Herald Writer Susanna Ray at 425-339-3439

or send e-mail to ray@heraldnet.com.

Maps, proposals and more information are available on the Web at www.redistricting.wa.gov.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

SonShine Preschool inside First Baptist Church Monroe is pictured Friday, March 1, 2024, in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
SonShine preschool in Monroe to close at the end of the year

The preschool, operated by First Baptist Church, served kids for 25 years. School leadership did not explain the reason behind the closure.

Cars drive through snow along I-5 in Snohomish County, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
In March, 7 p.m. sunsets are back for Western Washington

Washingtonians will finally start seeing more sun starting March 10. But a little more winter could be on the way first.

One of the parking lots at Stevens Pass Thursday afternoon on December 30, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Stevens Pass to charge $20 for parking reservations on busy days

Two-thirds of spaces will remain free for early arrivers on weekends. Cars with four or more occupants can also park free.

Lynnwood
Days after shootout with Lynnwood police, suspect checks into hospital

Police learned the 18-year-old was in a hospital in Portland, Oregon. His alleged role in the shooting remained unclear.

Everett
Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Patrick Kunz speaks during his sentencing on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett gymnastics coach who spied on students sentenced to 6 months

Patrick Kunz, 47, pleaded guilty to charges of voyuerism and possession of child pornography last month.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Everett transgender mechanic alleges Boeing treated her ‘like a zoo animal’

For years, Boeing allowed toxicity “to fester and grow” at its Everett factory, according to Rachel Rasmussen, an employee from 1989 to 2024.

Everett police officers survey the scene of a shooting along East Casino Road on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Washington’s 5th police academy could be in Snohomish County

A new academy in Northwest Washington would help clear a lengthy wait list for new police hires to get training.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.