South County Politics: County council, Fire District 1 elections

County council challenger hopes for more visibility

Republican Snohomish County Council candidate Marcus Barton, who will challenge Democrat Terry Ryan in the general election, says that he had a hard time getting attention for the primary because the contest got very little media coverage.

Ryan led in the primary with 68 percent of the vote. Barton had 31 percent.

This was the only contest on Snohomish County ballots with only two candidates. That made it the only contest that did not eliminate any candidates.

Non-partisan contests with only two candidates go directly to the November election without a primary, but state law requires all partisan races to appear on the primary ballot, even with only two candidates.

County Council contests in two other parts of Snohomish County did get attention.

In North Snohomish County, Republican incumbent Nate Nehring led a Democrat and two Republicans in County Council District 1, and in southeast Snohomish County, Republican incumbent Sam Low led two Democrats in Council District 5.

“Our race received very little press and very few people even knew who I was,” Barton said Monday. “After members of the press told me they weren’t going to cover us until after the primary, I figured wasting time and money on a primary race would be unwise. I had a spot in the general and merely needed a decent showing in the primary, which I think I received.

“Now that the people of the county aren’t focused on the two overcrowded races, I plan on getting more face time with the press, meet with different organizations and focus my doorbelling efforts in the regions where I know it will make an impact,” he continued. “I also intend to make more people aware of what is going on at the county level and how it affects them.”

Ryan has not responded to a request for a comment.

District 4 includes Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Bothell, Mill Creek and unincorporated areas around those cities.

Challenger says he can defeat Fire District 1 incumbent

Snohomish County Fire District 1 challenger Mike Ellis says the he can defeat incumbent Fire Commissioner David Chan, in the Nov. 7 general election despite Chan’s big lead in results from the Aug. 1 primary.

Final results of the primary showed Chan with 42.59 percent of the votes to 17.05 percent for Ellis, 15.80 percent for P. Bret Chiafalo, 13.42 percent for Brandon Richards and 10.65 percent for Brandy Donaghy. County officials certified the results Tuesday.

Chan got the four challengers after he and another commissioner were heard making racist comments during a break at a meeting early this year.

Ellis said last week that the third-, fourth- and fifth-place candidates all have endorsed him for election in November.

“If all their combined primary votes were to be cast for me in the general election, I wind up with 58 percent, and Mr. Chan would be where he is now, at 42 percent.”

However, he said, “That is not how electoral politics works. I will win a majority of general-election voters by earning each vote by going door-to-door throughout the District to share my first-responder experience with voters informing them of how, as commissioner, I will work to improve fire and EMS service.”

Donaghy said that she would vote for Ellis.

Donaghy also said that she had learned a lot from her first run for elective office, adding, “I have a better idea as to what to expect in the future.”

Richards said that residents of some precincts lacked information to vote because they didn’t get voters’ pamphlets although Snohomish County Elections Manager Garth Fell said he had heard no other complaints.

Neither Chan nor Chiafalo responded to requests for comment.

Fire District 1 includes unincorporated areas of Snohomish County south of Everett. The cities of Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier also get service from the District, but residents of those cities don’t vote in District elections. Lynnwood and the Fire District have voted to form a regional fire authority, but Lynnwood voters don’t now vote in District elections.

–Evan Smith
Evan Smith can be reached at.

  1. There are already 2 Commissioners on Fire District 1 Board together add up to more than 60 years of First Respondents and especially in Fire and EMS services. If I am re-relected, my focus is still on the financial side using my experience to help guide the new RFA to be a financially strong organization like what I have done in the past during the recession time. I sure will continue to watch every single dollar being spent and get the return benefit. I will diligently building this new RFA organization with the high quality of services provided by our current fire fighters and EMS personnel who are the best of the nation. It has always been my focus to provide the cutting edge technology, equipment, and training.
    Diversity does not only mean the color of the skin,but the different professional backgrounds to compliment each others. I hope the voters will continue to choose a candidate based on his/her education, qualification, past records and not simply voting against someone. I will be the guard dog for all the citizens of our new RFA.

    Warm Regards,
    David Chan

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