Three candidates so far say they’ll be running for Edmonds City Council in 2021

Updated Jan. 11 with Alicia Crank’s decision to run for Position 1.

Three candidates have already indicated they are planning to run for Edmonds City Council later this year.

Neil Tibbott

Former Councilmember Neil Tibbott said Sunday he will be running again. Tibbott was first elected to the council in 2015 and gave up his council seat to run for mayor in 2019, losing to current Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson. He plans to make a formal announcement Tuesday although said he doesn’t yet know which position he will file for. A former member of the Edmonds Planning Board, Tibbott is CEO of LeadershipOnRamp, providing organizational and executive coaching.

Alicia Crank

Two-time council candidate Alicia Crank also said she will be seeking a council seat, and announced Monday that she will be running for Position 1, now held by Kristiana Johnson. (See her message on Facebook here.) Crank first ran for the council in 2015, losing to Dave Teitzel, who did not run for re-election. In 2019, she lost to Vivian Olson. Crank is chair of the Paine Field Airport Commission, vice chair of the Edmonds Planning Board and Chief Development Officer at AtWork!

Will Chen

Will Chen, a certified public accountant who along with Crank applied for an appointment to fill Nelson’s vacant council seat — which ultimately went to current Councilmember Luke Distelhorst —  also said he will be running for council. Like Tibbott and Crank, Chen is undecided on which position he will run for. Chen has lived in Edmonds for 11 years and has an office located  just off Highway 99.

Three council seats — Positions 1, 2 and 3 — are up for election this year. Kristiana Johnson, who holds Position 1, is a retired transportation planner who has been on the council since 2012. Position 2 is occupied by Distelhorst, facing election after he was appointed to fill out the remainder of Mike Nelson’s council term. Position 3 is held by three-term Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, a retired state government manager who was first elected to the council in 2009.

The official filing deadline for all positions is May 21. This year’s primary election is Aug. 3 and the general election is Nov. 2.



22 Replies to “Three candidates so far say they’ll be running for Edmonds City Council in 2021”

  1. Excellent news, I really appreciate the time and passion that the candidates have put into serving this city.

    Of the three positions that are up for election, I would say that #2 Luke Disteldorhorst and #3 Adrienne Fraley-Monillas are the most at jeopardy. There has been a lot of shock and anger at AFM’s statements and actions lately, and the extreme difficulty in her getting reelected might mean that she might not even run.

    Luke Disteldorhorst has also made the deeply unpopular vote to against the opposition candidate to Chief Lawless. However, most of the issue is that he is new, was appointed instead of elected, and will be running against seasoned and we’ll respected opposition.

    In any case, we are lucky to have such great candidates step up and declare their interest in serving this city. I really look forward to the election and hearing more from them. In fact, maybe we should just move it up a week 🙂


  2. I’d highly advise that they run on the upcoming issues instead of focusing on the Mayor’s police chief fiasco. It’s best to intercept the issues instead of reacting to what failed politicians have messed up on. Focus on the new mistakes Luke Distelhorst and Mike Nelson are going to make.

    2021 is going to be worse. There is a pending rent revolt and eviction crisis. Small businesses are suffering now, but could be halved this year. The easier way to win is to out-Seattle-Seattle. If that is not what you want to do, then you have more work ahead of you. It’s going to be very difficult to argue anything but whatever Seattle has done to someone who is being evicted or knows someone who is. There are a lot of bewildered (non-politically affiliated) people in the highway 99 corridor too, but the voter registration demographics are very skewed with new voters that just hate Trump and got on the rolls just for that. They’re going to receive a ballot and will more likely vote again for those who put Pruitt forward. It will be more difficult to both be different and the non-incumbent.

    Luke should just step down now and allow Alicia to be appointed. She got [] by the appointment process. She was kept in the dark about the background check and got used by Mike to ratify Chief Pruitt.


  3. Excellent. I was torn between Ms. Crank and Ms. Olson last time around and wished I could have voted for both.


  4. Matt’s point about future issues is what we should concentrate on. We have and will have some really big issues to solve and the first thing we should do is without jumping to all the ways to solve the idea is to set out to identify the problems we will face. It is clear after reviewing the budget and the process that we used to create the 2021 budget we have already run out of the money’s necessary to do what all the various groups around town want to do. Marsh, Civic Park, Waterfront Access, Supporting the Arts, Chamber, and all our businesses, Parking, How we pay for fire and EMS services, Hwy 99 and on and on.

    We should carefully and fully list our wants and needs, sort out the folks who should be at the table to discuss, and identify the potential solutions, and then and only then move toward ways to work on issue and measure the results and adjust as we go.

    These candidates and others who are yet to come can set a new dialog for town and not just use the methods used in the past to gather votes. We can make this election on that moves us forward and not one that dwells on past mistakes or actions.


    1. Excellent points from both you and Matt. Future issues are absolutely what we should be focusing on. Identifying priorities for our current and future needs in the middle of a recession is something that will be a hard discussion instead of just announcing new programs that the candidates would like to pursue.

      I would definitely like to note that while we should be looking to limit the damage from funding shortages in key areas, the development of new tax bases by attracting businesses is also a critical issue for our success. Especially as more businesses have been moving away from Seattle, we should capitalize on our ability to market ourselves as an educated and attractive place to work and live.


  5. I’m not as pessimistic as Matt; but I’m out of the work a day world and he isn’t; so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that things may be more than very bad for many of us. I think he and Darrol are right about looking ahead to the coming problems for the city and how we might better address them.

    In C.P.s I’m looking and voting for independent thinking first of all. Next I’m looking for possible city government change agents and then folks with a no frills city government viewpoint. Back to basic city type issues; not saveing the planet.


    1. If I could say anything bipartisan it’s this:
      1) Trump’s economy was crap before COViD-19. He campaigned on the fact that the whole system was predicated on little to no interest. Then he owned the system and double-downed on it in office.
      2) The State and Federal government is going to still run. They’re gonna get paid, and whatever check they’re sending us they’re going to get back in spades. Also, the government has to sell bonds, and will need to raise interest rates in order to do that. <- Biden is calling for even more of this. Buckle Up. <- interest rates were "Too Low Too Long" after 2001? What about now?


      1. I talked with Mr. Tibbott when he was running for mayor and it sounded to me like his Party politics stance would be maybe slightly right of center. Just guessing . Theorhetically that should be somewhat irrelevant in a non partisan election however. I would vote for him against AFM or LD but not Crank or Chen. I’m an Independant fairly left of center for the record. Not that, that has much of any relevance in a city election.


  6. Glad to see the candidates step up to the plate! It takes broad shoulders and a thick skin, but I am confident that I will throw 100% of my support behind them as they move forward with their candidacy. Go Neil!


  7. Neil Tibbitt is a healthy antidote to the current leftist woke social justice mayor and some of the city council member.


  8. I am looking forward to hearing from the candidates on where they stand on all the issues. Especially the housing commission and what they are trying to do (basically eliminate or significantly reduce single family housing and densify Edmonds even more). Do you know that Edmonds has 7 + times more density than the Bellevue, Seattle, Tacoma corridor. In short we don’t need more multifamily housing and a higher population density.

    I think Character should be at the top of the list for our leaders. No matter what political ideology you have, someone with character will make good decisions and that is obviously lacking in some of our current leadership. We also need leaders who can unite and represent all the citizens of Edmonds and are not divisive.

    We are blessed to live in a town like this. There are not many of them left and we need to preserve its charm and it’s beauty and most importantly it’s history and natural surrounding. We need to support our small businesses and make sure they flourish. We should not want to be another Ballard or Bothell or Redmond. Those towns have been ruined with all their dense housing. I grew up in East Bellevue near Lake Sammamish/Marymoor Park and if you go to that area today all the trees are gone and you have a concrete jungle. I don’t want that for Edmonds.


  9. Thank you to today’s commentary writers on the upcoming city election. Informative and respectful.

    PS: I am in awe of anyone who’s willing to serve as a council member…a lot of hard work for very little pay.


  10. If we had a rational system of representation based on specific geographical areas of the city, we wouldn’t be playing this game of personality analysis cat and mouse about which position someone will run for. The question would be, who is the best person to get the roads, sidewalks and parks maintained in my part of the woods (irony intended).

    Similarly, if we had a city manager, instead of a strong mayor trying to control everything and every one, we wouldn’t be trying to figure out who to elect to the council to try to defeat whatever the strong mayor’s agenda seems to be; or blocs of C.P.s aligning with the Executive’s agenda whether open or hidden.


    1. Clinton, I too am in favor or a county-esque representative (republican) organization for each city council seat.


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