Janelle Cass announces run for Edmonds City Council Position 2 seat

Janelle Cass

Edmonds small business owner and Air Force veteran Janelle Cass announced Sunday she is running for Edmonds City Council Position 2.

The 48-year-old Cass, who owns Ohana Hyperbarics on 5th Avenue South, also serves on the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Council Position 2 is currently held by Luke Distelhorst, who was appointed in January 2020 to fill the remainder of Mike Nelson’s term when Nelson was elected mayor in 2019. Distelhorst has announced he will seek election to retain the seat.

Cass holds a degree in civil and environmental engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, where she served as a bioenvironmental engineer.After the Air Force, she worked for 12 years in the Federal Aviation Administration, performing environmental impact analysis and community outreach for aviation construction and air space projects.

Cass, who grew up in Seattle, said she moved to Edmonds in 2007 to raise her family. In her campaign announcement, she said she wants to serve on city council “to preserve the Edmonds we know and love,” and pledges to use her business and professional experience to promote financial and environmental stewardship.

In her spare time, Cass said she enjoys sailing and fishing, and she stays connected to her Polynesian heritage by dancing with a local Hula Hālau school.

You can learn more about Cass on her election Facebook page.

In addition to City Council Position 2, Positions 1 and 3 are up for election this year. Position 1 is held by Councilmember Kristiana Johnson, a retired transportation planner who has been on the council since 2012. Johnson has not yet said whether she is running for re-election but Edmonds Planning Board member Alicia Crank has launched her campaign for Position 1.

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.

Two others who have already announced their council campaigns — but have not yet declared which position they are running for — are former City Councilmember Neil Tibbott and community volunteer and local business owner Will Chen.

The primary election (for positions with three or more candidates) will be in August 2021 followed by the general election with the top two candidates in November.




  1. I am thrilled to read Janelle’s announcement to run for city council. She has the background, knowledge, experience and strength of character to tackle the many challenges- environmental, social, fiscal – that Edmonds faces today and will tomorrow. As a small business owner, she knows first hand the challenges our small business community has faced and is solution focused.

    In my conversations with Janelle she is ready to help restore, to protect, and invest wisely in our Edmonds community. As a Registered Nurse I appreciate her deep and studied concern for our environment, public health and education.

    Theresa Campa Hutchison

  2. I have had the pleasure of meeting Janelle this past year through her locally ran business here in Edmonds. The love she has for her family and the passion for our community here in Edmonds are her two most admiring traits. I have witnessed on many Occasions her interactions with the people in her business she is a kind and compassionate Individual that goes out of her way to Serve others. She has a Servant warriors heart and for that reason she would would make a Exceptional addition to the city Council. I have lived in Edmonds for the last seven years and I am grateful to have meet her and more importantly proud to call her my friend. I believe you will feel the same way once you meet her.

  3. Janelle displays a commitment to community – and her country; her experience with the Chamber and with her combined expertise to both business and the environment will be a welcomed addition.

  4. I’ve been super tough on Luke Distelhorst. The truth is, he’s probably one of the nicest people I’ve met in Edmonds. The state of union though is that politics has been put in front of all other loyalties and aspirations. I feel as though the agenda Luke carrying water for is literally destroying the country, Edmonds-up while other agendas are trying to meet us in destruction from the top-down. I’m a vet and own an aviation company, and know that people with that background are typically **center**-leaning. Real knows real and Janelle would be a good change in course and an opportunity to balance the bias we all see at this point. It would be terrific to know Janelle more and see if her platform is going to intercept the major issues getting ready to hit us.

    Economics, Rent Stikes, Municipal Debt, Roads, Sidewalks

  5. From being a Chamber member and Board member to an active member of this town I have seen Janelle time and time again ask the right questions to initiate actions and resolve problems. I am so excited that Janelle is running she is what we need on our Council, excited to see her put her experience to work in our Edmonds!

  6. I think Janelle’s experience as a small business owner in Edmonds will give her a valuable perspective as a Council member. With her education in engineering, Janelle possesses the analytical skill set necessary to carefully evaluate information and make well thought out decisions for Edmonds based on data.

  7. Best of luck Janelle. Will be nice to have an Edmonds business owner bringing actual business experience to Edmonds City Council and putting Edmonds first, instead of the Region. In my numerous interactions with Janelle, she has brought up great ideas on how to improve our City for both the residents and businesses. It will be a benefit for our community to have someone on Council who wishes to serve the residents of our town first and foremost, which I know is at the heart of why she is running.

  8. Edmonds will definitely benefit from having someone of Janelle’s caliber on city council. I know Janelle on a professional and personal basis. Her analytical solution oriented mindset, excellent listening skills and desire to serve all the citizens of Edmonds will be an essential skill set as the council works to move the city forward. I encourage Edmonds citizens to get to know Janelle over the coming months and discover for yourselves that she is a candidate who has authenticity, intelligence and integrity.

  9. My family and I have the pleasure of living next door to Janelle and her wonderful family. We have had conversations about her running for office and what is needed to make sure that Edmonds does not become another Seattle. I am a patent attorney with my office in Seattle but am now looking to move to Edmonds because of the issues and problems burying Seattle. Janelle has promised to work to keep Edmonds the amazing town that is Edmonds and the reason we have all chosen to live here. I believe that with Janelle’s business background and leadership abilities that she will be a spectacular addition to the Council.

  10. I wholeheartedly endorse Janelle Cass for Edmonds City Council. In the many years I have known Janelle, I have come to know that she is solidly rooted in her community via her family and own successful business. Janelle is one who is committed to running a clean, above-board campaign. I have witnessed on more than one occasion, how much she cares for the City of Edmonds and its future.

    Bob Wilke
    Platinum Cash Flow Solutions
    Edmonds, WA

  11. This is great news for our community. Janelle will bring sensible, transparent, non partisan leadership to Edmonds. Her experience in the Military, being a small business owner and her work performing environmental impact analysis will be a huge asset to the council, our community, the environment and our small businesses.

    Janelle is a high character leader who practices what she preaches when it comes to supporting diversity, especially in the workforce. She is a doer not a talker and is willing to get into the community and connect with all who live here. She will represent every voice and person in Edmonds not just the ones she agrees with. She is the embodiment of an inclusive leader who will not try and divide us.

    1. Yes, Janelle checks off many boxes, if not all, that I like to see in a person representing the community. It will be great to have a business person who understands the community as a whole, who sees/understands many sides to our issues, as opposed to the “lifetime” government workers, non-profit, union representative, progressive dividers who tend to always drag their agenda into the council chamber.

  12. Janelle possesses the critical education, experience, community involvement and work ethic we need in a council member. A very good candidate. s

  13. Janelle’s level minded and thoughtful insight will be a great asset to the Edmonds City Council. She is a local resident who has a heart for Edmonds and keeping it a safe and productive community. Her background, experience and leadership have prepared her well for a position such as this. Edmonds will do well to have Janelle on the city council team.

  14. Janelle is a class act. With her background as a mother, wife, successful entrepreneur and female businesswoman, volunteer, veteran, and now public servant, there is nothing Janelle will not be able to tackle when elected to city council. As a friend and supporter of her campaign I can personally say that she is probably the best candidate I have seen run for city council in a long time. Edmonds is starving for transparent, non-partisan, intelligent, and common-sense leadership again. If you feel that way, then Janelle is your lady for the job.

    Mrs. Cass and her family are a loving and supportive circle of people who have displayed nothing but hard work and investment in this community. As an Edmonds resident and living in the (dare I say) “bowl”, Janelle knows what makes our downtown, businesses, and local community charm so special. She intends to keep that. But Janelle is not a backwards thinker. She is progressive, not in the partisan sense, but in the REAL sense. She wants meaningful change. She wants all of edmonds, not just the bowl, to be improved, protected, and invested in. She wants every citizen of our town, from the business owner on Hwy 99, to the residents in our north Edmonds zone, to all feel a part of something special; something we can continue to be proud of.

    As someone who is a 28 year old entrepreneur, musician, and Boeing employee, I know that Janelle is first-hand knowledgeable and committed to our economic growth. But she is also committed to detoxifying our partisan local political arena, focusing on You the voter, not a party or subversive agenda.

    Janelle isn’t running to pack her LinkedIn resume so she can move up the political ladder. She is running to:

    Restore, Protect, and Invest in Edmonds

  15. Janelle will bring both her professional expertise and her heart for building community to the council. As a fellow small business owner, I have benefitted from her efforts to network among other businesses. She has a gift for building community and seeking out the things that will benefit the greater good. She is an excellent candidate for Edmonds City Council!

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