Races for Edmonds mayor, school board will appear on primary election ballot

Candidate filing closed Friday afternoon for the Aug.1, 2023 primary election ballot, and Edmonds voters will see one city government race on their primary ballot — for Edmonds mayor.

Three candidates are challenging Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson, who is running for his second term. They are Edmonds City Councilmember Diane Buckshnis, retired business owner Mike Rosen and Brad Shipley, a former City of Edmonds senior planner. The top two primary vote getters will advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

Edmonds also has five city council races on the ballot but two of those are uncontested. Neither Vivian Olson, running for reelection to Position 5, and Jenna Nand, running for election after being appointed last year to Position 7, drew opponents.

The remainng three city council races will have two opponents each for the November general election. For Position 1 — an open seat as appointed incumbent Dave Teitzel isn’t running — former Edmonds Planning Board Chair Roger Pence will face off against Chris Eck, a member of the Snohomish County Planning Commission. For Position 4 — an open seat because Diane Buckshnis is running for mayor — retired dentist Dr. Michelle Dotsch is running against former City of Edmonds Planning Department intern Mackey Guenther. And in Position 6, first-term incumbent Susan Paine is being challenged by retired City of Everett Code Enforcement Director Kevin Fagerstrom.

There will be one primary race for Edmonds School Board. Nancy Katims, the current board president who represents District 5, has two challengers: Nicholas Jenkins and Arjun Kathuria. In the general election, Carin Chase, representing District 1, has one opponent — Nicholas Logan. Hawk Cramer is running unopposed for District 3, an open seat since Gary Noble isn’t seeking reelection.

Incumbent commissioners for Public Hospital District No. 2 of Snohomish County, otherwise known as the Verdant Health Commission, also will face challengers in the general election. In Position 1, incumbent Deana Knutsen is up against Bob Meador, and Position 2 incumbent Karianna Wilson will face Mark Laurence.

In the Town of Woodway, all three councilmembers up for election are running unopposed. The same is true for the Edmonds Port Commission, which has just one candidate per position.

A total of 176 local offices are up for election in Snohomish County this year including county executive, assessor, auditor, clerk, sheriff, treasurer and councilmembers; city and town mayors and councilmembers; fire district commissioners; school board directors; and port and water and sewer district commissioners. A complete list of those who have filed can be fonnd here.


  1. Here is our chance Citizens of Edmonds, to elect experienced candidates whose first interest is to listen to us, hear our concerns, and act on them in a positive manner.
    The current mayor has not earned our support for a second term, because by his own words, he is now, at the end of his first term, just getting started?
    As for his intern Mackeyvrunning for position 4, from my personal experience, he is not open to questions, alternatives, or discussion. His goal for Edmonds appeared to be more density and less green space.
    Voting for anyone else would be a significant plus for our City.
    We have top notch, experienced candidates running, and selection and support for these fine people has never been more important than now. How we vote will reflect the kind of future we will see for Edmonds.

  2. I have a question. There are two positions being elected for Verdant. If you look at their 2023 budget on the website, they have $180,000 for election expenses this year. Does verdant pay for the commissioners to campaign? What is this expense for?

  3. Looks like our local majority Democratic Party is a little worried about loosing it’s grip on Edmonds city politics. Will be interesting to see how much money they pump into the effort to elect the one mayor candidate and three Council candidates they will openly support to try to retain influence. Please, vote independent unless you just want four more years of the same here.

  4. Speaking of campaign contributions, I recommend everyone check out the state PDC disclosure website to see what our four Mayor candidates have raised to date. The amounts range from just over $1000 to, believe it or not, over $52,000. I find that high number both a little amazing and a little frightening when you consider the individual donation limit is $500. It’s one thing if lots of this money is personal financing but something completely different if the source is a major outside contributor or contributors. We’ll need some explaining on this during the debates I would think.

    1. The contributions for each candidate are not a mystery. The PDC site not only reveals the magnitude of the total contributions it also discloses who made each contribution, how much they contributed, their occupation, and where they reside.

      1. The candidate who has raised $52,875 has received $47,225 from Edmonds residents , or only 10.7% from outside of Edmonds. This information was calculated from the PDC filings.

        1. So Ron, another way to look at your statistics is that one candidate who has raised $52,875 has gotten $5650 (which is about half of the TOTAL funding of his closet fellow candidate) from outside sources. If you want to base your vote on who has the deepest pocketed friends in Edmonds and elsewhere, I have no problem with that. I plan to base my vote on who has experience on Council, an actual track record of reaching out to the the citizens thru Town Halls in the neighborhoods and a brief, easy to understand action plan for doing the job from day one.

          I have nothing personal against the high dollar candidate who is a very nice person and means to do well by us if elected. I just think there is another person who is more ready and more qualified at this point in time. I’m not using names because I hope people will get past personality politics and look at substance for a change. Funding sources and track records are substance.

  5. Great, if it’s not at all a mystery I’m sure each candidate will be excited to talk about exactly where all their financial resources came from; who is backing them and why.

    So far we have one candidate with a track record on the job of four years, one candidate with a professional city planning background, one candidate with a list of who’s, who in town endorsements a mile long with lots of money banked; and one with 13 years on Council, 100s of volunteer hours on the books, and an actual action plan to address our needs (not just our wants).

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