Early eight-way scramble opens for County Council seat
EVERETT — An opening for a County Council seat long held by Brian Sullivan has created a dogpile of Democrats on the hunt to advance.
The sole Republican appearing in the race so far is Anna Rohrbaugh, a Mukilteo City Councilwoman who works as a leadership coach and speaker.
Seven Democrats have set up frameworks for campaigns with the state’s elections commission as of Feb. 28. The formal election filing week is in May, but the first announcement for the seat came before Christmas.
They are: Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, community organizer Sharita Burton, recent NAACP Vice President Louis Harris, housing coordinator Alex Lark, county housing grants specialist Tyler Verda, Everett activist Megan Dunn, and Snohomish County Executive Assistant Cecilia Wilson.
The county’s Libertarian Party likely plans to run a candidate, chair Maggie Mae said.
Sullivan must vacate the seat because of term limits. He is running for county treasurer against financial adviser and Marysville Councilman Rob Toyer.
The council seat represents Everett, Mukilteo and the Tulalip Tribes’ land.
In filing paperwork, Gregerson struck first.
Mukilteo’s mayor since 2014, Gregerson began her career as a city councilwoman in 2004 in her 20s. As a councilwoman, she helped create the regional housing partnership Alliance for Housing Affordability six years ago and chairs the
Burton is a community organizer who has worked closely with a group in Everett working to enhance the north Broadway corridor. She also applied to an Everett City Council vacancy in 2017.
Harris is running a grassroots campaign. Inclusivity is one of the main themes. He’s a recent vice president of the Snohomish County NAACP and sits on the recently formed Everett Police Advisory Commission. His day job is a services eligibility specialist for the state Department of
Social and Health Services (DSHS).
Lark is a housing manager for Housing Hope who is on the Everett Planning Commission. Affordable housing is a priority for him. He also ran for Everett City Council
in 2017 against an established incumbent and collected 41 percent of the vote, the strongest showing among three challengers that election year.
Verda is a specialist with Snohomish County’s Office of Community and Homeless Services under the human services department. He’s also on the county labor council.
Dunn spearheaded the campaign to introduce city council district elections in Everett as its chair until this month, and sits on Everett’s Human Needs Committee and previously sat on its Planning Commission. She also has chaired the Lowell Neighborhood Association, works on pesticide reduction policies as program director for a nonprofit in pesticide alternatives and was a finalist for a city council appointment in 2017.
Wilson spent 19 years as a County Council legislative aide for council members before being brought into the executive’s office managing constituent services under the county executive in 2016. Before working for the county, she worked for a law firm.
Rohrbaugh set up her paperwork on Feb. 25 as the latest candidate. She has 20 years in the business world as a leadership coach, and is a board member for the Sno-Isle Library Foundation and the Puget Sound Regional Council Economic Development Board.
The candidates have already begun splicing up endorsements.
Wilson lists numerous county leaders, including County Executive Dave Somers, County Councilman Terry Ryan, retired Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair and past Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson.
Verda lists Everett state Rep. Mike Sells and former County Councilman Hans Dunshee among his endorsements.
Gregerson’s endorsers include state Reps. Strom Peterson and Derek Stanford, Stanwood Mayor Leonard Kelley and Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith.
Harris said he has a number of local connections; his endorsements are forthcoming.
In other county races
This year, voters will elect a County Executive, Sheriff, County Assessor, County Clerk, County Auditor and Treasurer.
Somers is running again for executive. So far, no challengers have appeared.
Sheriff Ty Trenary faces a challenger from Dick McManus.
County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright, who represents cities including Lynnwood and Edmonds, is running for a third term. So far Wright is unopposed.
The auditor, clerk and treasurer positions have no
incumbent because of term limits and are nonpartisan races.
For auditor, county elections manager Garth Fell is running to run the department. He’ll be challenged by Cindy Gobel, who works for the Secretary of State’s office.
For clerk, Heidi Percy has jumped into the race. For assessor, incumbent Linda Hjelle is running again.
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