South County Politics: Top-two primary with two candidates tops August ballot

A top-two primary with only two candidates will be the first of three items on the August ballot for Mountlake Terrace and Brier.

Democratic Snohomish County Councilmember Terry Ryan and Republican challenger Marcus Barton are running in the only partisan office on 2017 ballots in south Snohomish County.

Ryan represents Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Bothell, Mill Creek and the rest of County Council District 4.

Voters also face contests to narrow the fields for non-partisan positions on the Edmonds School District Board and the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District board.

By state law, partisan offices appear on both the primary- and general-election ballots even with only one or two candidates. Non-partisan offices with only one or two candidates — like city offices in either Mountlake Terrace on Brier — appear only on the Nov. 7 general-election ballot. Offices with three or more candidates appear in the primary.

Ballots for the August primary will go to voters by first-class mail starting July 13, with voters’ pamphlets sent a day earlier by bulk mail.

A preview of primary ballots from P to B

Here is a preview of local ballots for the Aug. 1 primary ballot.

Candidates appear in the order determined by a lot draw that has created this alphabet: P-V-Z-Q-C-H-O-L-W-D-J-E-F-X-N-Y-U-T-M-K-G-A-S—R-I-B.

This year’s lot draw puts School Board candidate Cathy Baylor after opponents Deborah Kilgore and Cindy Sackett, and incumbent Alderwood Water and Wastewater District Commissioner Larry Jones after challenger Charles Liu.

It also puts County Council challenger Barton’s name after incumbent Ryan’s. It’s a down year for anyone whose name starts with B, a letter that went from first in 2015 to last this year.

Sample ballot for the August primary:

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4, partisan office, four-year term
Terry Ryan (Prefers Democratic Party)
Marcus Barton (Prefers Republican Party)

Director District #4, non-partisan office, four-year term
Deborah Kilgore
Cindy Sackett
Cathy Baylor

Commissioner Position #4, non-partisan office, six-year term
Charles Liu
Larry Jones
Jeremiah Styles

–By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at

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