Letter to the editor: A vote for Mackey Guenther is a vote for our future

Dear editor,

Mackey Gunther is the voice we need on the Edmonds City Council. As a former city councilmember and current elected official I have learned that the most important thing we can do to create good policy is to bring in a diversity of voices that better represent our entire community. And it is the voice of those beginning their adult lives that has been sorely missing in our local conversations. After all, about 30% of the Edmonds population is under 30 so it makes sense that just 14.5% of the city council falls into that demographic. 

Let’s consider what Mackey’s generation has accomplished in just the past few years on a state, national  and even international level. From common sense gun safety reform to environmental action to addressing overarching issues of inequality, it has been young people that have organized, demanded more from their elected officials, and have been willing to put in the hard work. This is a generation that has experienced school lockdowns, a global pandemic, and almost daily environmental catastrophes, yet they remain hopeful and engaged. 

Mackey brings a thoughtfulness not often seen in people running for office. He shows both a deep understanding of local issues, a willingness to listen and learn, and a sincere commitment to his community, our community. We should all take a little pride that a young man who grew up in Edmonds is so committed to making it a better place. Vote for Mackey. Vote for our future. 

Strom Peterson
State Representative 21st District 
Snohomish County Council District 3 
  1. I have had the pleasure of knowing Mackey for several years now. He built the website for our club, the Olympic Fly Fishers of Edmonds. The man is destined for great things. He has a maturity that is of someone much older than him. Thoughtful doesn’t begin to describe him. A great listener, wasn’t afraid to ask questions, and took the information he gathered to make his decisions. Edmonds would be lucky to have him on the council!

    1. I met Mackey Gunther at the Conversations with the Candidates gathering. I was very impressed with this young man. He was well informed, direct, and he seems to care passionately about this town.

  2. Taking nothing away from Mackey, we voters need to ask ourselves some questions about this LTE. First off, looking at Strom’s political party affiliation and his personal double dip program in representing us, are his views an unbiased consideration of the relative experience and abilities of the two candidates? If we are looking at age as some sort of plus toward Mackey’s favor, does that indicate that Michelle is old and out of touch with the realities or what is actually going on in our town? I mean, she looks, acts and talks pretty young as far as I can tell, but if we listen to Strom she must be too old and out of touch to handle the position (you know, someone like me at 77). I’d suggest voting for whichever candidate you think would be better, but ignore biased self serving endorsements like this one. We desperately need politically independent and financially intelligent City Council Members right right now and in the coming years.

  3. It was great to hear from Mackey at the candidate debate. He seems confident and I applaud his willingness to jump into a city council race. However, Michelle’s answers showed a much higher degree of experience, knowledge of housing and housing requirements in Edmonds, and her plans and desire in keeping the charm of Edmonds. I will vote for Michelle.

  4. I will be voting for Michelle also. I do like Mackey. He is very nice and he clearly will be a very good politician in the future. Thing is age equals experience (good and bad). I think Mackey will be ready with a few more years of experience with what he is doing right now. Michelle does have a higher degree of experience and I like her very much.

    1. My family is voting for Mackey. He reflects our values. We are strong supporters of the new state housing laws and excited to see the changes they will bring to Edmonds.

  5. Hey Strom, if Nelson beats the odds and pulls this out, how ’bout you tell him to offer Mackey a job at the city. I’d suggest, new Parks and Recreation Mgr. or Economic Development Director. I mean, I think you guys owe him that much after this glowing LTE, plus I actually really do think he’d be a great city employee.

  6. It’s not surprising that Representative Strom Peterson is endorsing candidate Mackey Gunther for City Council. Mr Peterson was one of the leaders in the State House passing misguided legislation forcing smaller cities like Edmonds to accept multi-family housing across all currently single-family zoned residential areas. Check out HB1110 requiring cities to permit two and four units on residential lots. Or HB1337 requiring cities to allow two accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on any lot. Or HB1293 constraining cities even on reviewing building designs. Sorry Strom, Edmonds residents don’t want failed big city ‘solutions’ for our housing needs. Nor do we need inexperienced candidates like Mr. Gunther who very likely would blindly support proposals from Olympia hook, line, and sinker. These won’t make Edmonds a better place. Vote for someone who truly understands Edmonds, Dr. Michelle Dotsch.

  7. Damian,

    Thanks for your concise summary of the housing bills that Peterson sponsored. Mackey Guenther supported, and asked others to support, all of these bills in their draft form. See Guenther’s February 2023 Reader View:


    Guenther has since downplayed his support by referencing DADUs (which more Edmonds residents want), neighborhood input and environmental issues, but it is highly likely that his blanket support continues.

    I spoke with Mackey in February and he shared research articles upon which he based his desire to dramatically increase market rate housing stock, including the concept of “filtering” defined as “the filtering of housing units from higher-income households to lower-income households with the passage of time”:


    Mackey said “filtering” happens over 20 years, or as little as 10 years. This long term thinking is disconnected from the current realities for Edmonds. As with many well educated young people, Mackey lacks experience to temper his reliance upon research.

    Whether or not Mackey has a future in Edmonds politics depends upon how open he becomes to the points of view of ALL citizens of Edmonds, not just the ones who agree with him.

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