By The Herald Editorial Board
With the Aug. 3 deadline to submit ballots for Snohomish County’s primary election just days away voters are reminded to dig out their ballots, mark their choices and get them in a drop box or the mail.
As of Wednesday, only 11 percent of the county’s more than a half-million ballots had been returned to the Snohomish County Elections Office. Those who do vote in the primary election will set much of the ballot for the Nov. 2 general election, as the top two candidates in each of the races move on to the general election.
If you’re puzzling over candidates — and there are several races with strong fields — you can consult the county voters guide at tinyurl.com/SnoCoVotersAug3 or the endorsements below. Full endorsement editorials are available at www.heraldnet.com/tag/editorials/.
For video and audio recordings of forums conducted by the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County for several of the races on the ballot go to www.heraldnet.com/news/videos-meet-the-candidates-in-6-snohomish-county-cities/.
For more information regarding the election, including how to register to vote, ballot drop box locations and more go to tinyurl.com/SnoCoVote.
Snohomish County Council
Position 1: Nate Nehring
Nate Nehring, a Republican appointed to the seat in 2017 who won a full term that fall, is challenged in the primary by Democrats Nicole Ng-A-Qui and Richard Yust. Nehring’s accomplishments, his ability to work with the rest of the council and his commitment to pragmatism, as well as his concern for county residents and stewardship of taxpayer funds during his first full term should provide voters — regardless of party — ample confidence in returning him to his post.
Edmonds City Council
Position 1: Alicia Crank
Incumbent city council member Kristiana Johnson is challenged by Alicia Crank and Brian Hartman. Crank, who serves on several city and county panels has put in her time and effort as well and now deserves the opportunity to serve on the city council.
Position 2: Luke Distelhorst
Current council member Luke Distelhorst was appointed to the position in early 2020. His three challengers are Janelle Cass, Will Chen and Lora Petso. Distelhorst got a jump-start with the last year-and-a-half of incumbency. But he’s used that time well with several initiatives and has justified the council’s decision to appoint him.
Everett City Council
District 3: Don Schwab
Lacey Sauvageau, Don Schwab and Jacob Vail, all first time candidates, are running for the position. Schwab impresses with his history with the city and community and an ability to see various angles and avoid unintended consequences for certain actions. Schwab would bring a fresh perspective but also experience to his district and the council.
District 4: Ben Zarlingo
Ben Zarlingo, Kelly Fox and Demi Chatters, all first-time candidates, are running to represent the district. Zarlingo’s past leadership role in the Silver Lake neighborhood will serve him well in representing his district; his past engagement on city-wide issues of zoning, the comprehensive plan, wetlands and commercial and residential developments will serve the city as a whole.
Everett School Board
Position 4: Traci Mitchell
Traci Mitchell has served on the board since she was appointed to her Position 4 seat in 2014, winning election in 2015. She is challenged By Charles Mister Jr. and Janelle Burke. Mitchell has proved her value to the board and the district as a thoughtful representative for parents, students and the public.
Mayor: Christine Frizzell
The pending open seat is sought by three current city council members: George Hurst, Christine Frizzell and Jim Smith. With an eye toward working regionally with other city and county leaders on shared issues, Frizzell is best-suited to continue current Mayor Nicola Smith’s success in leading a vibrant and growing city.
Position 1: Chris Eck or Nick Coelho
The open seat is sought by Shirley Sutton, Nick Coelho and Chris Eck. Coelho and Eck demonstrate strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the city and have fairly evenly split the endorsements of city and regional leaders. Both showed the demeanor to work cooperatively with the rest of the council and the next mayor.
Position 2: Patrick Decker
Appointed to a vacancy in the spring, Patrick Decker is challenged by Don Gough and Naz Lashgari. Decker’s knowledge, community ties and the council’s earlier selection of him earn him the endorsement.
Positron 3: Joshua Binda
An open seat drew the candidacies of Lisa Utter, James Rutherford and Joshua Binda. Binda’s youth should be seen by voters as an asset to the council and the city, especially when considering the educational, work and community service resume that he has developed in a relatively brief time.
Marysville City Council
Position 1: Cindy Gobel
Jeffrey Vaughn, first elected to an unexpired term in 2003 and reelected four times since, faces challenges from Daniel Brady and Cindy Gobel. What Gobel best provides is a key balance of past experience and a fresh perspective on issues useful as the council confronts a range of issues.
Marysville School Board
District 4: Jim Ross or Wade Reinhardt
Incumbent Vanessa Edwards faces challengers Clarence Shaw, Jim Ross and Wade Reinhardt. Each of the four candidates have their strengths, but voters should choose either Ross or Reinhardt as the best candidate to advance to the general election.