Fundraising under way for Edmonds City Council election hopefuls


Name Office Raised Spent Debt Breakdown  of Contributions/Spending
Crank, Alicia City Council Pos 1 $13,230.55 $3,931.86 $1,750.00 Click for Details
Hartman, Brian* City Council Pos 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Johnson, Kristiana (I)* City Council Pos 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Cass, Janelle City Council Pos 2 $9,620.00 $679.92 0 Click for Details
Chen, Will City Council Pos 2 $23,294.76 $8,147.00 0 Click for Details
Distelhorst, Luke (I) City Council Pos 2 $6,836.80 $1,736.67 $647.49 Click for Details
Petso, Lora* City Council Pos 2 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Fraley-Monillas,  Adrienne  (I) City Council Pos 3 $535.00 $291.52 $5,250.00 Click for Details
Tibbott, Neil City Council Pos 3 $17,075.00 $4,857.84 0 Click for Details

Notes:  (I) indicates incumbent;

* indicates candidates not currently registered with the Public Disclosure Commission (The Washington State Public Disclosure laws require that candidates who spent more than $5,000 on a prior campaign or expect to spend $5,000 on the current campaign must file campaign finance reports with the PDC. Candidates who do not meet either of these criteria must still register with the PDC and file a personal financial report, but are not required to file campaign financial reports).


Updated with corrected figures

Fundraising is already in full swing for many candidates seeking public office in this year’s local elections. This report brings you up to date and allows you to “follow the money” on the various candidates’ campaign finances.

In Edmonds, nine candidates have filed for the three city council positions that will be decided this year. Council Position 1 is a three-way race pitting incumbent Kristiana Johnson against challengers Alicia Crank and Brian Hartman. Three challengers (Janelle Cass, Will Chen and Lora Petso) are hoping to unseat incumbent (appointed) Luke Distelhorst in Position 2, making this a four-way race. Finally, former city councilmember and mayoral candidate Neil Tibbott will face off against 11-year city council incumbent Adrianne Fraley-Monillas for Position 3.

For more information about these and other local races, see our recent article here.

Note that for races with more than two candidates, the top two vote-getters in the Aug. 4 primary will advance to the November general election.

Early fundraising shows Will Chen with the largest war chest to date, topping $23,000, more than the combined total of his two Position 2 opponents.  In what promises to be a hotly contested race for Position 3, incumbent Adrienne Fraley-Monillas has raised $535 compared to the $17,075 collected by challenger Neil Tibbott.

Position 1 hopeful Alicia Crank has received $13,230.55. Her two opponents (Brian Hartman and Kristiana Johnson) declared their candidacy close to last Friday’s deadline and have yet to file campaign finance reports with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).

The accompanying table details the figures reported by each campaign to the PDC as of Saturday, May 22. For readers interested in following the money in more depth, the link in the right column opens the candidate’s detailed PDC reporting page with information on individual contributors, amounts each contributed, and how the money has been spent. Information in this table comes from the Public Disclosure Commission and the Washington Secretary of State’s VoteWA web page.

To keep you informed throughout the election cycle, look to My Edmonds News for regular updates on campaign.

— By Larry Vogel

  1. Larry:

    This is great information and thank you for sharing. One thing I notice is that a significant amount of Will Chen’s money is coming from outside Edmonds, while the majority of the other candidates money is coming from Edmonds citizens.

    It’s concerning that people outside of Edmonds can have that big of an impact on an election. In my humble opinion, I think we need to vote for candidates that are supported by people who live in Edmonds, who have a stake in what happens here. Outside money does not care about our community or has it’s best intentions. That’s not good for Edmonds.

    The majority of funds raised for any city office should come from the people who live here, not Seattle, Bellevue or any other city.

    See link to Will’s contributors:–020&election_year=2021

    1. Will Chen’s money coming from outside of Edmonds is a good thing and he is smart to raise money from all directions. From this sites comment section we see that there be contributions from within Edmonds that are inspired by dislike for the opposing candidates. The contributions Will Chen has obtained from outside of Edmonds are more purely an attestation of Will Chen, and it looks like there’s a lot of people who believe in him. Those contributions from outside Edmonds will also have less quid-pro-quo expectations attached if he wins.

      1. Don:

        While I agree it’s smart and says a lot about what outside people think of Will (who I know is a good person), the amount or percentage of outside donations compared to the other candidates is very drastic. Also, outside money (like Blue Wave, etc) can also have quid-pro-quo attached just like inside. The difference is we know the people in Edmonds who are contributing and they live in our community. We don’t know who the outside contributors are and what their motivations are.

        No matter how you try and spin it, local money says a lot about the candidate and what the people who live here think. Outsiders don’t have to live here and are not affected by ordinances and laws the city council votes on and passes. We are affected by what council and the Mayor does and therefore we contribute to the candidates that we know will put Edmonds first and who have our city’s best interest. Most people in Seattle, Bellevue or anywhere else could care less about the COP issue or the tree issue or the marsh issue, or the housing issue, or walkable Main Street, etc. Outside money is either used to influence from afar or to help a friend or family or business associate get elected. It’s person directed not community directed.

        1. The spin comes from you with words like “concerning” and “blue wave etc” and “very drastic.” Will Chen’s endorsements and fund-raising are impressive.

    2. Dear Rod:
      I am honored and humbled to be supported by many people, from Edmonds and beyond, who value hard work, education, equity and diversity, not just by words, but by action. Some of my support from the Asian American community is from middle to low-income people who work in Edmonds, but can’t afford to live here. I am a former board member of the Seattle Chinese Chamber of Commerce and other traditional family associations when I had an accounting office in the International District in Seattle. Many Chinese-American and AAPI community members are excited to see me step up to serve and run for office.
      If elected, I will be the FIRST, first-generation Chinese American to serve on Edmonds City Council. It is time for our city to elect a Council member who represents ALL of Edmonds, especially those who often feel unheard and underrepresented.
      My friends, Together, We Will Make An Edmonds Kind of History!

  2. I notice that both Luke and Alicia’s email address is listed as “Blue Wave”……… this is the same email Alicia used last time she ran for city council. What does this mean? Blue Wave is a Democrat organization that funds candidates. I thought City Council was a position that was not supposed to be “political”. This is just one of the reasons why I won’t be voting for Alicia or Luke.

  3. Luke and Alicia both received money from Susan Paine. This is all the same partisan group. Easy here to connect the dots.

  4. Wow…am I at a Hen Party from 60 years ago….peck, peck, peck…..Candidates need money…some don’t…
    As long as it isn’t from a viscios group, or a dangerous group….who cares. Why would someone from a different area matter. This isn’t Lynnwood, or Mount LakeT, or Shoreline…but we sure interact with and help. Don’t we…Yes we do. And we support Marysville….ALL fine with me. They have no dog in this fight…unfortunately not everone has wealthy donors from the Bowl of Edmonds. This is just silly…don’t pick on specific people for where they get their $$$ donations, ladies. Ha

  5. Great story. Now I don’t have to research myself, because I normally do. Zoning issues are just one example of following political campaign money. Personally, I will move if we continue to follow the blue wave plan for our community. We can continue down the path to the most homogeneous region in the country. It’s working in Seattle, where they have had a stranglehold since 1938.

  6. Rod, I respect you and your opinions. However, I have to disagree with your take on Will Chen’s campaign contributions. As you know, he is an Asian-American who immigrated to America from China. He started with very limited financial resources, became a citizen, earned multiple degrees, became a CPA and started a family and accounting business in Edmonds. He is very active in the Asian-American community in the greater Seattle area and is appreciated for his work ethic and advocacy in that community.

    His contemporaries are excited by the prospect of a candidate with his background being elected to local office, as the Asian-American community has traditionally been under represented. I don’t believe for a moment any of his donors living beyond Edmonds’ borders have motives other than to support a friend.

    1. Dave:

      Thank you for the kind response and I appreciate your feedback on my comments. I respect you and your opinions as well and I also respect Will Chen and think highly of him!! He is a self made man who has overcome a lot and I respect that 100%!!

      I don’t believe Will’s friends have ulterior motives and I know they support Will because he is a good person who they trust and respect. It would be naïve of me to think that nobody from outside would contribute to someone’s campaign, especially friends and family members. My point is that the majority of the money raised by Will is from outside of Edmonds while the majority of money raised by the other candidates is from Edmonds.

      In my humble opinion, I feel that most of the money raised for local campaigns should come from the people who live here. I personally hold that standard for all candidates who are running. This is not to say that outside money equals bad intentions or ulterior motives, but it does say a lot about what the people who actually donate to their campaigns actually feel about them. Will has raised a lot of money and I think that is admirable, but when the public sees this they may automatically think he must be the best candidate because he has received the most financial support. This isn’t necessarily true if you dig into the numbers and that is what I wanted to draw attention to. I’d rather see a candidate raise a ton of money from local citizens. That to me says a lot more. It means they had to meet with the citizens of Edmonds and earn their trust and respect before they earned their hard earned money. It shows they did the work for the people they want to represent. Will may be doing this as well and in the future but for now almost all his donations are from outside Edmonds. Good, bad or indifferent, it is what it is.

  7. money, the milk of politics. there are current council members that simply need to be voted out. their despicable partisan politics abuses the civic discourse in this community.

  8. Rod, this is a great reply. I agree with you 100%. I too am an immigrant, but for some reason now that we are “labeling” people by race, which is not a “unifying” strategy, people are overcome with the “labels” instead of concentrating on what is important……….where a candidates donations come from. It is extremely important where donations for a candidate come from. You are spot on!

  9. My question is why are local candidates using the national political Bluewave Consulting firm? These are supposedly non partisan positions, relatively low dollar campaigns with fairly straightforward accounting requirements. So exactly what services are being provided by Bluewave? So, what is actually being offered to the candidates using those services? Any candidate want to comment?

    1. Hello Diane. I can’t speak for others, but I am utilizing Blue Wave for PDC compliance/treasurer related services only. Not fundraising or any other services they may offer.

      1. Alicia,
        Thanks for your quick response. What other services do they offer candidates? What fund raising services do they offer candidates besides compliance? What is the cost for such services? Thanks again for your quick response and willingness to be transparent about your use of Bluewave.

    2. Diane,

      This is what I found when I searched for information about

      Specifically for Washington state –

      About Us
      Blue Wave Partners is a political compliance and fundraising consulting firm. The scope of work includes assisting in compliance and fundraising for Democratic candidates in Washington State and across the country. Our firm represents campaigns at every level of government – from the Washington State Legislature to the United States Senate.

      So, it appears that, for full disclosure, Blue Wave is a partisan organization.

      1. And so is the city council. We all know who is what. Come on… we all know who care to find out. I did. But my decisions for a candidate are not their party, but their actions. I have Democratic views as well as some Republican views. Anyone who doesn’t see that the council and mayor are not bi partisan are sticking their heads in the sand. Or just not that informed or interested in government and politics.
        Personally I don’t care what their party is. I care what’s inside their hearts and minds. Deb

  10. The more I read stuff like this, the more I’m convinced I’m right about the idea that Edmond’s City Government, as presently constituted, is and will remain dysfunctional in most respects. Council persons should be elected out of geographical districts and represent the primary interests of each district based on what the majority of people in a given district want to happen where they actually live. The elections would be much smaller in scope and require much less in the way of funding for the candidates to come up with. There would be much less incentive for major political parties to interfere where they don’t belong. Make the Mayor position ceremonial only and hire a competent city manager to assure the basics get done. Current C.P.s giving donations to wanna be C.P.s seems like a real red flag to me, that some high level changes are needed in how we do things here.

  11. In order to show greater support for Will from Edmonds residents, I just donated to his campaign. Will is smart, level-headed, has excellent financial credentials, is a business owner, can represent the Hwy 99 community, is a dedicated family man, and he loves America and he loves Edmonds.

  12. Will:

    I think that is truly amazing and your personal story is even more amazing. You are a good person who has overcome a lot to get to where you are. This has nothing to do with race or cultural background but has everything to do with putting Edmonds Frist!! I 100% respect you and if you are elected I will support you as one of my council members who represents me as long as you keep Edmonds First in all you do.

    Nonetheless, I feel that when the majority of your money comes from outside it is an issue. The additional funds allow you to market and spend more money on your campaign which gives you an edge over the others based solely on the funds raised. This mass amount of money from outside helps decide the election and the outsiders donating it don’t have to live here but in essence they helped you get elected because you had more money to spend than others on your campaign based on their donations (hypothetically of course).

    One of the main concerns I have about this is the housing issue. I know you have supported the new housing commission in the past and I have heard rumor that LLC’s are buying up properties in Edmonds waiting for the up zoning to occur. Outside money can definitely influence this type of issue (not saying your outside money is, but this is an example of the influence it can have). So I will ask you straight up. Do you support keeping single family zoning in Edmonds and are you against up zoning Edmonds? Do you support the housing commissions report? A simple yes or no will do for each question.

    I wish you all the best Will and I hope you can raise as much money as you can with the majority of it from Edmonds residents who live here. As a voter, that will speak more to me than anything else.



  13. Great comment Rod; these are very important questions you are asking. I too am an immigrant, proud of my heritage, etc., but now I am an American and I want a councilman to represent “all” of us. Not just his/her heritage. Quite frankly I’m sick to death of the cultural labels. If elected will Mr Chen represent everyone? The zoning question must be ask and an answer be given that is very clear and concise. We do not want outside development money/donations buying a council seat to be clear.

  14. For heaven’s sake, these people are all running for a poorly compensated part-time job with a full-time plus time commitment on them, if they win. They are setting themselves up for public ridicule and abuse in the process, not to mention the potential to be put down publicly by an over powered Mayor who wants to run the town his way, no matter what the Council or numerous Citizens might think or want. These people running are each going to get their cash anywhere they can and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. Personally I’m looking for people who think and talk like Vivian Olson; that’s who I will vote for; and I don’t care where they get their cash. It costs money to run for any public office. Too much money!

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