South County Politics: First day of filing produces new candidates for local offices


The first day of candidate filing Monday for places on 2017 ballots produced several new candidates, including two challengers for embattled Snohomish County Fire District 1 Commissioner David Chan, three candidates to replace retiring Edmonds School Board Member Susan Phillips and three to replace Lynnwood City Councilman Christopher Boyer.

Filing lasts through Friday at 4 p.m.

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. The other challenger is Michael Ellis, a political newcomer who couldn’t be reached Monday.

Snohomish County Fire District 1 includes the unincorporated​ areas of the Country 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 District elections, nor do residents of Lynnwood, which shares administrative functions with the District.

Three other new candidates — Cathy Baylor, Deborah Kilgore and Cindy Sackett — filed Monday to replace Phillips on the Edmonds School Board. 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.

When three or more candidates file for a non-partisan position, that position will appear on both the Aug. 1 primary ballot and the general-election ballot, with the top two vote-getters in the primary qualifying for the November ballot.

The three candidates to replace Boyer on the Lynnwood council include former Councilmember Van Aubuchon; Christine Frizzell, who lost a close 2015 council election after a recount; and Ben Corey, a Democratic precinct committee officer.

Most local offices are nonpartisan. That means that if only one or two candidates file for a position, the office will appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot. The only partisan office on the ballot is the Snohomish County Council position now held by Democrat Terry Ryan. Ryan represents Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Bothell, Mill Creek and the rest of County Council District 4.

Partisan offices appear in both the primary and the general election even with only one or two candidates.

Ryan won election to the council in 2013 by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin over his Republican opponent.

Candidates file online at Candidates may file in person at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office through May 19 during the business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office is located on the first floor of the Administration West Building at 3000 Rockefeller Avenue in Everett.

— By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at


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