South County Politics: Democratic 21st District incumbents start with financial advantage over challengers

The three incumbent Democratic 21st District legislators start their 2018 re-election campaigns with big fundraising advantages over their opponents.

Incumbent Democratic State Sen. Marko Liias has three opponents. Incumbent Democratic State Reps. Lillian Ortiz-Self and Strom Peterson each have one.

Liias has reported raising $92,289 and spending $45,126, with a campaign debt of $3,000.

One of Liias’s challengers is Riaz Khan of Mukilteo, who has filed to run for the position as a Democrat. He ran with no party preference when he lost a 2016 primary contest for one of the district’s state representative positions.

Another challenger to Liias is Scott West of Edmonds, a retired federal agent who most recently led the Seattle office of the U.S. EPA criminal investigation division. He is registered as non-partisan.

The third challenger is Republican Mario Lionel Lotmore, an industrial engineer.

The four candidates will run on the Aug. 7 primary election ballot, with the top two vote getters advancing to the Nov. 6 general-election ballot.

Washington Public Disclosure Commission reports show Khan and Lotmore with no reported fundraising or spending and show no registration for West.

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Ortiz-Self reports raising $18,578 and spending $8,127, while her Republican challenger, Petra Bigea, has reported raising $1,100, with no campaign spending.

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Peterson reports raising $16,379 and spending $1,656, with a campaign debt of $200, while Republican Amy Schaper has reported no fundraising or campaign spending

Both of the 21st District state representative positions will appear on both the primary ballot and the general-election ballot. State law requires partisan offices to appear on the primary ballot, even when they have only one or two candidates.

With both a primary and a general election, a partisan candidate can accept the maximum contribution twice from any donor.

A nonpartisan office will appear on the primary ballot only when it has three or more candidates. For example, the two district court positions will not be on the primary ballot because each has only one candidate.

The 21st Legislative District includes most of the city of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood and northeast of Lynnwood, the city of Mukilteo and part of south Everett.

EMS levy on August ballots in unincorporated areas

Voters in unincorporated areas of south Snohomish County in the South County Fire and Rescue Regional Fire Authority and in the city of Lynnwood will see a tax-levy measure on their Aug. 1 primary-election ballots.

Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier get service from South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue by contract, but voters in those cities don’t vote in the election.

The measure would create a single levy to replace one in Lynnwood and one in unincorporated areas of Snohomish County Fire District 1.

Voters in the city and the fire district voted last year to form the regional fire authority.

There is no organized opposition to the proposal.

This will appear in voters’ pamphlets that Snohomish County will send in July:

South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue RFA

The proposal is for a property tax of 50 cents or less per $1,000 assessed value. If approved, it would replace two existing voter-approved EMS levies collected by Lynnwood and Snohomish County Fire District 1 with a single EMS levy paid to South County Fire.

Proposition No. 1

Emergency Medical Services Property Tax Levy


Will the South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue Regional Fire Authority be authorized to impose regular property tax levies of $0.50 or less per $1,000.00 of assessed valuation for each of ten consecutive years beginning in 2018, and for such levies to supersede the existing emergency medical services levies of the city of Lynnwood and Fire District 1, to provide funding for emergency medical services?

By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at

4 Replies to “South County Politics: Democratic 21st District incumbents start with financial advantage over challengers”

  1. A couple of corrections. In paperwork filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission, senate candidate Mario Lotmore identifies himself as a Republican. Another senate candidate, Scott West, identifies himself as Non Partisan.


  2. Hey, I enjoyed reading this but you forgot one of the most important contests in this year’s elections — the contest for Snohomish Public Utility District, Position 2. Of the three positions on the PUD Commission, two are being contested this year. The Edmonds candidate is Rebecca Wolfe, Edmonds community volunteer on climate protection, natural resources conservation, and responsible, ethical governance. For details on why this campaign is vitally important to our county, visit ( and learn about the issues


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