Lynnwood City Councilmember Jim Smith kicked off his reelection campaign for his Position 4 seat at Moonshine BBQ Wednesday night with barbecue ribs and some ribbing from fellow councilmember Patrick Decker.
Snohomish County District 1 Councilmember Nate Nehring opened the event to about 40 Smith supporters. While speaking, Nehring held his son, who seemed too tired to care about the crowd and laid his head on Nehring’s shoulder.
“Jim has proven experience, and he’s a steady hand on the city council,” Nehring said. “Jim’s focus on taxes, reducing taxes, keeping them low for residents, cleaning up homelessness here in Lynnwood and throughout Snohomish County and reducing traffic congestion is so critical.”
Nehring spoke of Smith’s decades of service and noted that Smith had been serving the community since 1989, which he pointed out was before he was born. Smith’s reelection were a testament to Smith’s dependability and focus on common-sense issues, according to Nehring.
Nehring then introduced Decker, who was told by an unidentified voice in the crowd to be nice.
“I don’t have to be nice; I was just told to say a few words,” Decker responded.
Smith and Decker are good friends, which became clear later in Decker’s speech.
“The mayor is always throwing something at one or the other of us for our having too much fun on the council,” Decker said.
Giving one last playful jab about Smith also serving before he was born, Decker’s tone shifted from joviality to sincerity.
“Jim understands the challenges we face and knows the opportunities that are here in Lynnwood and the problems as well — where we need to focus our time and efforts,” Decker said.
Decker also said that Smith has been “fighting for lower taxes, reducing waste in government, and going after corruption in the government for as long as he’s been in office.” Further, Decker said it is important to Smith that Lynnwood has affordable housing, safety and “strong, safe police and first responders.”
According to Decker, not all politicians have followed their campaign promises. However, he said that Smith’s history with Lynnwood gives him a track record that one could follow – making him a predictable element on the city council that voters could count on.
“Jim is a known quantity,” Decker said.
Decker asked the crowd to speak with their neighbors about Smith’s “steady hand, his experience, his history, and his knowledge of the city and the sounty, how that weighs on the city, and how we can make that work for the residence of the city.”
Former Lynnwood Mayor Tina Roberts-Martinez was unable to attend but Decker read her endorsement to the crowd before introducing Smith.
“’As the mayor of Lynnwood and councilmember for decades,’” Decker read, “I personally know Jim Smith to be consistently dedicated to the people of Lynnwood. He has been unwavering in his dedication to our seniors, keeping our families safe, a fighter against unneeded taxes as well as continually helping the street homeless end their addictions.
“’There is no doubt in my mind that Jim is by far the best candidate to serve the people of Lynnwood. His history, knowledge, education and devotion cannot be matched. Signed, Mayor Tina Roberts-Martinez’”
Smith started by introducing and thanking his wife Sherry for her patience, and also thanking Tom of Tom’s Moonshine BBQ and his family for hosting the campaign event.
Smith said he wanted to avoid going into a long political speech, as politicians frequently do during elections.
“People that know me from decades ago know I can do that, and I won’t do that, but I do ask for your help about letting people know how important this race is,” Smith said.
Smith said he wanted people to think about their community when they vote; those who live, work and have friends in Lynnwood. Further, Smith said that he wants the people of Lynnwood to think of their families and future generations.
Smith said it’s important to not only keep him on the council but also Decker – who was elected in 2021. It’s also key to get more councilmembers who are “thinking what’s best for you all, not what’s best for Seattle and … for heaven’s sake, please don’t Seattle our Lynnwood,” he said.
Even though there are good people from Seattle, there are those who move to Lynnwood and say, “I can’t stand [it] in Seattle anymore. We’ll go to Lynnwood, and we’ll do everything that happened in Seattle; we’ll do that up here,” Smith said.
However, Smith did not specify who those people were or their specific activities.
Smith appealed to the audience to leave partisan politics out of city-level politics. He said that local politicians are not beholden to political parties but are in “the people business,” and that is how city councilmembers have worked in the past.
Nehring closed the event with requests for donations from the attendees or for them to volunteer their time.
Smith and his band then entertained the audience with classic rock cover songs.
Challenging Smith in his relection bid is Lynnwood business owner Nick Coelho.
For more information on Smith, visit his website at www.electjimsmith.com.
— Story and photos by Rick Sinnett