South County Politics: Looking ahead to 2017 local elections

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As candidates prepare for 2017 local elections, here are two items that recently caught my eye — one in Lynnwood, one in Edmonds:

Lynnwood Councilwoman Ross has challenger for fall election

Councilwoman Ruth Ross (Photo courtesy City of Lynnwood)
Challenger Rosamaria Graziani (File photo by David Pan)

Lynnwood City Councilwoman Ruth Ross has a challenger for the November election.

She’s Rosamaria Graziani, president of an organization that promotes education for first- and second-generation immigrants.

Graziani leads Academia Latina, the Latino Academy. She said last week that she is running because she disagrees with several of Ross’ votes on the council.

Graziani and Ross both have registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) as candidates for the position.

Registering with the PDC allows a candidate to raise and spend money for the Aug. 1 primary and Nov. 7 general election. Candidates file for ballot position May 15-18.

Any position with three or more candidates appears on both the primary ballot and the general-election ballot. City positions and other non-partisan positions with only one or two candidates appear only on the November ballot.

Ross first won election to the council in 2001. She won re-election in 2005 but lost in 2009 to Kerri Lonergan. She won the position back in 2013.

Ross and Graziani will compete for one of three Lynnwood council positions on this year’s ballot.

Also on the ballot will be the positions held by Councilmen Ian Cotton and M. Christopher Boyer.

Cotton has registered with the PDC, as has former Councilman Van Aubuchon, who says he plans to run but hasn’t decided which position he will seek.

Councilman George Hurst, who is in the middle of his first four-year term, has announced that he will challenge Mayor Nicola Smith.

Smith is the only Lynnwood candidate who has raised money for this year’s election. She reports raising $5,102 with no spending.

Edmonds Municipal Court judge raising money for fall election

Appointed Edmonds Municipal Court Judge Linda Coburn has been raising money for the fall election, when she plans to run for her first full four-year term.

Coburn has served the last three years of the term that former Municipal Court Judge Douglas Fair won in 2013. The Edmonds City Council appointed Colburn to the position after Fair won election to the South Snohomish County District Court in 2014.

Coburn has reported raising $22,170 and spending $4,886 through Monday. Both figures are higher than the fundraising or spending by any judicial candidate in the state so far this year, including municipal court positions in Everett, Federal Way, Kent, Puyallup, Renton, Spokane and Yakima, and a position on the state court of appeals for eastern Washington.

Fair was elected to the municipal court position without opposition in both 2009 and 2013.

Coburn said in late April that, because this is her first campaign, she needs to take it seriously.

“While some judicial positions are uncontested, I take nothing for granted and plan to campaign hard through November, if necessary,” she said.

–By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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