South County Politics: Candidate filing brings big fields in Fire District 1, Edmonds School District

Candidate filing ended Friday for local races, with several positions having enough candidates to force a primary — and the race for a place in Snohomish County Fire District 1 has the biggest field.
Voters in unincorporated areas of South Snohomish County will have five candidates for a single place on the board of Fire District 1.

Four candidates have filed to challenge incumbent Fire Commission David Chan for a position on the five-member board
Chan is the only Fire District 1 commissioner whose position will be on 2017 ballots. Commissioner Bob Meador, who joined Chan in making racially insensitive remarks at a break during a March commission meeting, has four years left on a six-year term.

One of Chan’s challengers is P. Bret Chiafalo, who was one of the 2016 Clinton presidential electors who cast his vote for Colin Powell and encouraged Republican electors to rebel against voting for Donald Trump, in the hope of denying either candidate a majority of electoral votes. Another is Brandon Richards, a member of Snohomish County Search and Rescue, who ran last year for a place on the Snohomish County Charter Review Commission. A third challenger is Brandy Donaghy, a Navy veteran and volunteer with several local and statewide organizations. And the final challenger is Michael Ellis of Lynnwood.

Fire District 1 includes the unincorporated areas of the county between Everett and the Snohomish-King County line. Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier get service from the district, but residents of those cities don’t vote in fire district elections, nor do residents of Lynnwood, which shares administrative functions with the fire district.

This position and all positions with three or more candidates will appear on the Aug. 1 primary-election ballot, with the top two vote getters qualifying for the Nov. 7 general-election ballot.
The May 15-19 filing period ended Friday afternoon, with candidates allowed to withdraw their names from the ballot through Monday afternoon.

Other positions with three or more candidates include a position on the Lynnwood City Council, one on the Edmonds School District Board of Directors, and one position on the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District Board.

School elections draw five candidates for two positions
Races for the Edmonds School Board drew five candidates for two pollutions.

The school board position with three candidates is the one to replace retiring School Director Susan Phillips.

Three candidates filed to replace Phillips. They are: Cathy Baylor, who operates her own piano studio; Deborah Kilgore, a former president of the Lynnwood Elementary Parent Teacher Organization; and Cindy Sackett, a former board member of the Edmonds Schools Foundation.

Phillips represents District 4, which straddles Highway 99 in the central part of the Edmonds School District.

School board candidates must live in the director district that they wish to represent, but residents of the entire Edmonds School District vote to elect board members representing all five director districts. The Edmonds School District includes Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway, part of Brier and unincorporated areas near those municipalities.

Phillips served on the school board from 2011 to 2014. She was elected again in 2015.

The other position on 2017 ballots is the one from director district 2, the district that board member Ann McMurray represents. She will run in November against Mitchell Below, a content developer and 3rd Vice Chair of the 1st District Democrats. McMurray and Below avoided a primary when a third candidate withdrew Monday.

Edmonds School District director district 2 takes up the part of the School District east of Interstate 5 and south of I-405, including Mountlake Terrace, Brier and part of Lynnwood.

– By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at

Publisher’s note: There will be a follow-up story Tuesday with information about other candidates who have filed for office.

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