Incumbents are back for more

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  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:35am

By Enterprise staff

In South Snohomish and North King counties, all of the state senators and representatives whose seats are up for election say they will seek another term.

Challengers are lining up to make at least five incumbents work for it.

Sen. Dave Schmidt, R-Everett, has attracted two Democrat challengers so far.

Sen. Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park, Rep. Mark Ericks, D-Bothell, Rep. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, and Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, will each face an opponent.

While the official filing period is July 24-28, candidates who announce their intentions and raise money for campaigns must file with the Public Disclosure Commission, the state agency that tracks political contributions.

So far, the only legislative race starting with a September primary is in Schmidt’s 44th District, which serves Mill Creek and surrounding areas. Lillian Kaufer of Snohomish and Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens are running as Democrats. The winner will try to unseat incumbent Republican Schmidt in the November general election.

The two state representative positions in the 44th have both incumbents running for re-election. Incumbent Democrat Lovick is being challenged by Republican Robert Legg of Lake Stevens. In the other race, Dunshee, a democart from Snohomish, is once again being challenged by Republican Mike Hope of Everett. Hope ran unsuccessfully against Dunshee in 2004.

In the 1st Legislative District, first-term incumbent Democrat Ericks is defending his seat from challenger Mark Davies, a Republican and Boeing Co. information systems business analyst.

The 1st District serves areas of Bothell, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Woodinville and unincorporated Snohomish County near Bothell.

In a press release, Davies described himself as a “Conservative in every way, constitutionally, socially and fiscally.” He said his focus will be on preserving the rights of the traditional family, property rights and transportation, specifically adding freeway capacity and mass transit.

Elected to his first term in 2004, Rep. Ericks served as vice chair of the financial institutions and insurance committee and a member of the capitol budget committee, technology, energy and communications committee and house finance committee. At the city of Bothell, he worked as the director of administrative services for two years and police chief for 12 years.

Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, is already going door-to-door to earn a sixth term in the House. As of the Enterprise deadline, he did not have any challengers filed with the PDC, but O’Brien said he is not taking any chances.

O’Brien, a former Seattle police sergeant, primarily focuses on criminal justice issues. Next session, he wants to look at medical costs for offenders in prison, automobile thefts and how first responders — including police, fire and emergency services personnel — are ready for a national disaster or terrorism. In particular, he wants to improve communications between public agencies during a disaster.

In the last session, O’Brien served as chair of the criminal justice &corrections and member of capital budget committee and financial instituitions &insurance committee. He is a former Mountlake Terrace City Council member and Vietnam combat veteran.

In the 32nd District, Fairley will be challenged in her quest for a fourth term by Kenmore resident David Baker, a Republican. Baker is a first-term member of the Kenmore City Council and serves as deputy mayor.

The 32nd serves pieces of King and Snohomish counties, including Shoreline, Lake Forest Park Kenmore, Woodway and portions of Edmonds

Fairley, who has served in the senate since 1995, is chair of the Financial Institutions, Housing and Consumer Protection Committee, a ranking member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and former chair of the capital budget committee.

Incumbent Democratic Reps. Ruth Kagi, of Lake Forest Park, and Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, are unopposed in their re-election bids. Chase is seeking a third term in the house. Kagi, who serves as chair of the Children and Family Services Committee, is running for a fifth term. She has been a strong advocate for systems reform of the state’s child welfare system, welfare reform and its early learning programs, according to a press release.

Enterprise writers Brooke Fisher, John Santana, Sue Waldburger and Jenny Lynn Zappala contributed to this report.

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