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Editorial: A recap of The Herald’s election endorsments

Snohomish County voters should have their ballots now. Here’s a look at The Herald’s endorsements.

By The Herald Editorial Board

Grab you ballot and a pen — blue or black ink only, please — and make your choices for the Nov. 7 general election.

Below, The Herald Editorial Board recaps its endorsements in selected races with a few sentences from the earlier editorials. The full endorsements for each race can be found online at

In addition to these recommendations, voters also are directed to their local voters pamphlet, the online versions at and, the state’s online voters guide at and a series of recorded candidate forums available at the website of the Snohomish County League of Women Voters at

Ballots can be mailed or placed in one of several county election office drop boxes. Ballots must be postmarked or placed in a drop box before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. A list of locations for official drop boxes is available at More information on voting, registering to vote and the primary and general elections is available at

Snohomish County

County Executive: Dave Somers’ “previous two terms in the executive’s office — and his years on the county council — position him as most qualified to assess the county’s more pressing needs and its opportunities to prioritize the work of the next four years. … Having put his past accomplishments and his plans on the record, Somers has made a convincing case for a third and final term.” The Herald, July 15.

County Council, District 2: Megan Dunn’s “first-term experience has further developed the background knowledge and political skills she offered in her first run in environmental issues, planning, education and legislative outreach.” The Herald, July 18.

County Auditor: Garth Fell’s “on-the-job record, his scrupulous attention to statue and accepted practices, and his own efforts on voter access, election security and accuracy overwhelmingly favor his reelection to a second term.” The Herald, July 19.

County Assessor: Linda Hjelle, “for two terms, has shown herself as a responsible steward of a state-regulated process to determine the fair market value of properties. Voters, interested in fair and transparent decisions for that half of the property tax equation, should elect Hjelle to a third term.” The Herald, Oct. 19.

County Sheriff: Susanna Johnson. The position requires a leader “who can draw from considerable experience, impressive training and professional demeanor to set standards for deputies and employees, track crime and social trends to design effective responses, and provide for the safety of employees and that of the public. Susanna Johnson should be entrusted with that work.” The Herald, Oct. 21.

Snohomish Superior Court

Judge, Position 16: Miguel M. Duran “has handled the workload and complexity for the range of cases for which the court is responsible” and “has heard support from all sectors of the legal system; … his appointment has proved himself deserving of that support.” The Herald, Oct. 18.

Judge, Position 17: Patrick Moriarty, “given the opportunity of appointment to a judicial post, has proved his fitness as a well-regarded and trusted jurist and should be confirmed to that post by voters.” The Herald, Oct. 18.


Mayor: Barb Tolbert “in her first term, steered the city through the lean years that followed the recession, was a regional leader who offered emotional support and coordinated economic recovery efforts following the Oso landslide in 2014, and in her recent term has helped the city navigate the difficulties of the covid pandemic and continued preparations for the city’s growth and its impacts that make it a livability leader in the county.” The Herald, Oct. 15.


Mayor: Mike Nelson has posted a good record in terms of recommendations for the allocation of state and federal covid funds to aid businesses …, and his pledges to continue work that will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, connect the cities parks and schools …, recent improvements and beautification to Highway 99, continued advocacy for the city’s under-served communities and seeking an agreement with stakeholders on the eventual purchase and ensured protection of the Edmonds marsh by the city. The Herald, July 11.

City Council, Position 1: Chris Eck “displays more of a willingness and intention to work with the council and city administration and staff, regardless of its makeup at the start of next year and an eagerness to listen and work with residents.” The Herald, Oct. 11.

City Council, Position 4: Michelle Dotsch “with a dentist’s chair-side manner, should be best able to relate to city residents, representing their concerns and explaining an issue’s circumstances to the public.” The Herald, Oct. 11.

City Council, Position 6: Susan Paine: “Considering her work in her first term, and her past service on the school board, Paine’s professionalism is a known quantity that has already served the city well. The Herald, Oct. 11.


City Council, Position 6: Scott Bader: The change to district representation likely interrupted Bader’s council career; his run for an at-large position allows voters the opportunity to restore a council member who had worked well within the council for several years and sought workable solutions to the city’s challenges.” The Herald, July 13.

City Council, Position 7: Judy Tuohy’s “experience … can’t be ignored. She has served in council leadership for many years, and represented the council in a range of capacities that helped adopt programs and policies, including police body cams, the city’s gun buyback effort, red-light cameras and its diversion program.” The Herald, July 14.


City Council, Position 4: Nick Coelho “has shown his commitment to the community from his years of service to the city and its organizations, a deep understanding of the city’s needs and potential and proven skill at collaborative work.” The Herald, Oct. 12.

City Council, Position 5: Julieta Altamirano Crosby takes seriously what she sees as service to her community. … Her commitment to her work, on the council dais and off, should earn her reelection from Lynnwood voters.” The Herald, Oct. 12.

City Council, Position 7: David Parshall, “having taught about government, could provide valuable service to a council that needs to build on its outreach to residents and to the region. … He can quickly take on a seat from a council veteran and move ahead with work to evaluate and resolve issues, improve transparency and take advantage of opportunities.” The Herald, Oct. 12.

Lake Stevens

City Council, Position 4: Gloria Ngezaho “with past elected experience on a school board has developed representative skills and offers an impressive education and work resume in interpersonal relationships. … Ngezaho seems up to the task of challenging his fellow council members when necessary, but doing so in a way that provokes thought and consensus and not conflict.” The Herald, Oct. 17.

School Districts

Edmonds School District

Director, District 1: Carin Chase “nearly eight years into her tenure on the board, convincingly demonstrates full knowledge about the challenges and opportunities before the district and a commitment to transparency of the district’s operations and the best interests of students, parents, teachers, staff and others.” The Herald, Oct. 5.

Director, District 5: Nancy Katims “backed by her decades of academic and administrative experience and one term on the board, including her role as board president, demonstrates the necessity that she continue that work to pursue academic improvement and a secure a sustainable budget for the district.” The Herald, July 20.

Everett School District

Director, District 2: Jennifer Hirman’s “academic record and work experience, in addition to her service since joining the board, make her more than qualified for election by district voters. … Hirman’s appointment to the board took advantage of her knowledge and her years of service to the district and its students.” The Herald, Oct. 5.

Director, District 5: Ryne Rohla’s “analytical skills and his ability to communicate his ideas would serve the board, the district and its students well.” The Herald, July 20.

Marysville School District

Director, District 2: Eliza Davis: “Among her past experience that would be of particular use to the board is work in lobbying state and federal lawmakers for financial and other support and testifying on behalf of legislation. Davis’ past and current work with the school and with the Tulalip Tribes could make her an effective advocate for both before lawmakers.” The Herald, Oct. 3.

Director, District 3: Beth Hoiby “from the perspective of a parent with two former Marysville students who went on to earn college degrees, shows herself as someone with no agenda beyond service to her community and the interests of the district’s students and their families.” The Herald, Oct. 3.

Port of Everett

Commissioner, District 2: Bob Champion “has the benefit of two terms on the Mukilteo City Council, which would provide insight into continuing and shared issues for the city and the port district, as would his experience in representing port residents. … Champion would add a fresh perspective paired with his experience in serving the district’s residents and businesses.” The Herald, July 13.

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