Letter to the editor: Luke Distelhorst is the leader we need on city council


We are writing to voice our support for City Council Position No. 2 candidate Luke Distelhorst, who is running to retain his current seat on the Edmonds City Council.

In just over one year on council, Luke has barely skipped a beat transitioning from an active and successful volunteer presence in our community to making a significant difference in city government during a most challenging year. He has accomplished much in a short time to the benefit of our whole community, including some of our most vulnerable residents.

  • He authored the “Housing and Relief Fund” to support Edmonds residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in $580,000 of Federal CARES funding being distributed to community members in need
  • Authored a resolution that banned residential evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • He led a group of City and community partners in producing Suicide Prevention Month in September 2020 that including online events and advocacy work around mental health and suicide prevention for residents of all ages
  • Co-led policy changes to Driving While License Suspended 3rd Degree to address issues of equity as well as efficient use of justice resources

Throughout his time on council, Luke has been the type of councilmember who works collaboratively with all of his colleagues, no matter how their views might align or differ. His level of professionalism and collegiality is of the highest standard.

Luke has fostered relationships and is endorsed by local Edmonds, Snohomish County and elected leaders at the state level. This helps bring a regional approach to issues that don’t end at our city lines, and creates connections to advocate for legislative and budget items to support our city.

It is clear that Luke has the necessary experience, awareness, and work ethic to effectively serve Edmonds; above everything, though, we believe that his greatest strengths as a councilmember can be found in his character. He is a thoughtful and diplomatic leader who has a proven track record of listening to the concerns of others. He doesn’t make decisions hastily or without doing his due diligence of research. And most of all, he treats people with integrity and kindness, even when disagreements arise.

Luke is the kind of leader we each support and we are proud to be his campaign team.


Rhienn Davis
Kelsey Foster
Erica Sugg
Richard Suico


  1. Luke is sincerely such a wonderful fit for this leadership role in our community. I’m thrilled that he has stepped forward and is willing to continue to work hard for all of Edmonds’ residents, especially those who are most vulnerable. I hope you too can support his campaign.

  2. … Luke didn’t get ahead of of or take responsibility for his mistakes regarding the Chief selection. He is incredibly nice person. He should have voted “present” on his vote to deny re-embursing Councilwomen Olson for her Cheif background expenses.

  3. Totally concur that Luke has earned another term on the City Council. Urge his
    re-election. Robert Gould

  4. The accomplishments you list below area hardly a reason to re-elect Luke. Most of the accomplishments you list were already in place at either the state or Federal level. The bigger question is, what did Luke do for the city of Edmonds that wasn’t already being done?

    On one of the biggest decisions affecting our city (Chief of Police), Luke overlooked mounting evidence on a candidate who he voted for while knowing he had a domestic violence record in his background. Luke then signed onto a letter with Paine and Johnson in MEN inferring he had no idea about the COP candidates background and that it was HR’s mistake, while we all know from an article in MEN that they were provided this information days before the vote.

    In regards to him working with other council members with differing opinions, the evidence does not support this. He publicly accused fellow council member Johnson in MEN of being racist because of a statement she made about the cares act funding. This is not collaborative leadership.

    Will also supports the new housing commission report which would up zone Edmonds and get rid of single-family zoning, while also supporting protecting our environment. These two issues are a contradiction. If you up-zone Edmonds you increase density which creates more cars on our already crowded streets. Edmonds already has one of the highest densities in the Puget Sound Region. We don’t need more multi-level apartments.

    These so-called accomplishments are more feel good, look good things that sound important but really don’t have an impact on our city. We need leaders who, when faced with a tough decision like the COP, put Edmonds first and not their partisan political agenda.

    A vote for Luke puts us closer to becoming Seattle.

    1. Rod, while I agree to an extent in limiting upzoning. (I see no negative effects of the Westgate/104 corridor being upzoned) you are wrong about the effects on the environment Upzoning is better for the environment because it reduces the concentration of people into a smaller area, which leads to shorter distances being driven for transportation. People are going to keep moving into the Seattle area, not upzoning Edmonds just means they will move somewhere else. Not upzoning the Seattle area at all means they will move further out from the city, and drive further, increasing traffic and co2 emissions. Upzoning also makes providing public transportation a lot simpler, which is the only real way to reduce traffic.

      1. Kashf. Thank you for the response. I would have to say I would be open to looking at the up zoning along the main transportation corridors, like Highway 99 and Westgate. That makes more sense.

        I disagree with you on the environmental impact. What you reference is more of a big city area where people can walk to work, etc. Edmonds is the suburbs and most everyone has to either drive or take transit to work. More people in an already overly dense area means more cars, busses, etc. Take a walk around Redmond, Bothell and East Bellevue these days. They have ruined those cities with up zoning.

        I think the city should focus more on making Edmonds a walkable city with sidewalks that are in good shape and safe to use for everyone. IMHO I prefer more dollars focused on walking and not on wheeled transportation in our city like useless bike lanes that only a few will use.

  5. Anyone who is aligned with our embarrassment of a mayor, as Luke is, deserves to be voted out. Our household plans to make that a reality come election time.

    1. Yes, he needs to go. Too sneaky hiding and not giving public info they had on Pruit all of it was a disgrace. I would never vote for him. I want some fresh faces of all ages and colors and that are moderate enough to consider all the wants of everyone in this town of Edmonds. I want a cross the isle type of person. I want reason, fairness and someone interested in people all over Edmonds. THIS man is a Bowl man… NOT a BOLD man. I want people willing to challenge and willing to challenge back. No more smoke and mirrors, no more secret little meetings planning a cities fate. Especially if you live in a very protected area of that city which you do if you live in the Bowl. We need moderation and we need to try and compromise on many issues in Edmonds. ALL of Edmonds. Looking for my candidate now for position # 2. WON’T be this robot

  6. I gotta say too, Chief Pruitt is a victim of what happened in Edmonds. I served with many vets exactly like Pruitt, and I think people do not understand what being a blue-collar veteran is like. He may not have been the best choice for Edmonds Chief, he likely could have done the job, but we can’t fault him for stepping up, and we can’t condemn someone for circumstances we only have a peep-hole of perspective into. Our mayor actually rescinded Pruitt’s appointment for not disclosing a job application to the Lake Stevens PD more than a a decade ago. Our mayor withheld his own employment history as a lobbyist who was fined by the Deputy Attorney General for illegal electioneering. We gotta stop dragging Chief Pruitt’s name through the mud, thank the man for his service. In the case of Councilman Distelhorst, we gotta stop tokenizing people of color. Luke took his won City Council seat appointment away from three minorities who also applied (Crank, Nand, and Chen). Why did he do that? Luke seems to have tried to offset his own patently obvious white priveledge by denying Chief Lawless a job.

    1. Matt, I completely agree with you and have said many times that this has hurt Mr. Pruitt and his family more than we probably realize. He was used by the Mayor and the 4 council members and what makes this even worse is that none of them have apologized to him or his family. When an opportunity arose to apologize, Luke deflected and blamed the whole process on HR. Even thought council member Olson provided them the information days before the vote. Information that Olson has asked to be reimbursed for, that Luke has denied. How ironic is all this!!! This is not leadership in any way shape or form.

      Additionally in my prior post I used the name Will instead of Luke….I meant to say Luke. My apologies to anyone named Will.

      1. Thank you Rod. I can’t say who in the City I talked to, but it was someone at the center of all this, the sentiment was that Chief Pruitt really got a bad deal through all this. He never misrepresented himself and should have never been put through all this. Who could fault someone for stepping up, applying for jobs last year or 12 years ago?

  7. Luke, in his time on the City Council, has confirmed the appointment of a Police Chief candidate whose background should have disqualified him. And he failed to support a City Council member’s reimbursement of money spent to disclose the background of this candidate.
    I want a City Council member that works and researches issues important to the voters and the community. I don’t believe Luke has shown those qualities.

  8. There are plenty of reasons NOT TO VOTE FOR MR. DISTELHORST, as many of the previous comments attest. I see him as someone aligned with the mayor and part of the Gang of Four Council. He has had many opportunities to break away from that group, most recently in the mtg where the reimbursement to Ms. Olson was addressed. The city attorney gave them all a clear path forward. Instead of taking it, he aligned with his gang and continued to stand with the slanderous name calling being carried on by his buddies. He, and they, have gotten stuck in their refusal to acknowledge their poor choices and are acting like angry vindictive children because someone called them out by presenting evidence that sank their choice.

  9. I do not personally know any of the people on the City Council including the new Mayor nor the previous Mayor. I also do not know the persons expressing their concerns and bias about how things are going within the city of Edmonds. From the sidelines, it reads like a script for a TV series except the people being discussed are being publicly attacked and blamed. I have seen the City Council/Seattle morph into chaos and fail to find resolution to many serious issues because solutions were not as important as personalities who apparently could not work together.
    According to the Edmonds Police blotter of events in March….it has been a busy month. It seems that the City Counsel should receive and/or listen to a direct report from the highest ranking police officer to get input.

  10. Luke Distelhorst is not the leader that Edmonds needs. He has chosen capricious and arbitrary enforcement of the law with his vote on Driving While License Suspended. Arbitrary enforcement of the law does not build unity and community; rather, it creates the opposite by making several classes of citizens in the face of the law.

    Luke Distelhorst voted with Mr. Nelson to confirm Sherman Pruitt even though he knew that Mr. Pruitt was unfit for the job. Was Luke bullied by AFM? Was Luke bullied by Mr. Nelson? We can’t really ever know. What we do know is that Luke Distelhorst had an opportunity to show leadership, bravery and a heartfelt care for Edmonds and chose instead to vote for a man based not on his competence but on the color of his skin. Shameful! Worse, Luke Distelhorst joined several other city council members and Mr. Nelson in a vote that has cemented Mr. Pruitt’s history as a man unfit for service. Perhaps Sherman Pruitt had made amends, had changed, had become a good person and a man fit for civil service; by his vote, Luke Distelhorst ensured that any Google search on Mr. Pruitt will return only unflattering information.

    Luke Distelhorst must be voted out of office for the good of Edmonds. He may be a wonderful and well-intentioned man but he has failed the greatest test presented to him.

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