South County Politics: One MLT councilmember challenging another, again

Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Kyoko Matsumoto Wright got an electoral challenge from fellow councilmember Seaun Richards as candidate filing ended May 19,

Richards filed against Wright even though Richards is in the middle of his own four-year term that will expire in 2019.

Such a move in Mountlake Terrace has happened before.

Eight years ago, then-Councilmember John Zambrano, who was in the middle of a four-year term, filed to run against fellow councilmember Jerry Smith. Smith went on to win by a 60 percent to 39 percent margin. Two years later, Zambrano lost his own position to Richards, who was running with Smith’s backing.

This year, a Richards victory would give him an extended term, knock Wright off the council, and give the new council, including Richards but not Wright, an opportunity to appoint someone to fill the last two years of the council term that Richards now holds. A Richards loss would leave him with two years left in his current council position.

Wright said Thursday that she was surprised by the move, something that came at 3:30 p.m. on the final day of filing week.

She added that there had been no tension or rivalry between the two on the council.

Richards said that he wouldn’t comment Thursday but would have a news release soon.

Also in Mountlake Terrace, council incumbent Jerry Smith, who presides over the council as mayor, will face Margaret Loiseau, a self-employed owner of a commercial refrigeration business, in November; councilmember Rick Ryan will face longtime community activist Stephen Barnes.; and incumbent Doug McCardle is unopposed.

The Mountlake Terrace positions and any other non-partisan positions with only one or two candidates appear only on the Nov. 7 general election ballot but not on the Aug. 1 primary-election ballot.

Filing brings lots of candidates for water district, few in Brier

When filing ended last week, positions on the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District board got lots of interest, but city offices in Brier got little.

The Water and Wastewater District ended up with the three candidates needed to force a primary for one position and two candidates for the other position on 2017 ballots.

Brier has six candidates for five positions — incumbent Mayor Bob Colinas, four incumbent council members and one council challenger.

The Alderwood position and all positions with three or more candidates will appear on the primary ballot with the top two vote getters qualifying for the November ballot.

The Alderwood primary election contest will pit incumbent Commissioner Larry Jones against Jeremiah Styles, an attorney with a solo practice in South Everett, and Charles Liu, an IT project manager currently serving as 1st Legislative District Democratic treasurer. The position that won’t have a primary will match Alderwood incumbent Mike Dixon against Chad Byers, a software executive and member of the executive boards of the Snohomish County Democrats and 44th Legislative District Democrats.

The Alderwood Water and Wastewater District includes Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, most of Mill Creek, the Snohomish County part of Bothell, parts of Edmonds and Mukilteo, unincorporated areas near those cities, and one precinct in south Everett.

In Brier, Mayor Bob Colinas and councilmembers Mike Gallagher, John Joplin, and Bob Thorpe all have filed without opposition.

Councilmember Martin Krienke will face challenger Kevin Davis in November. Davis is a safety, health and wellness manager and a youth football coach in Mountlake Terrace.

Coming: A full list of candidates who filed to run for offices in south Snohomish County.

– By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at

  1. Rumor is that one council member is challenging another in order to “shake things up” – start getting things done. Whatever that means, a different face in one chair is unlikely to change anything. As the challenged member notes, there has been “no tension or rivalry” – about anything. With little real debate of consequence for nearly 10 years, that is an understatement.

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