South County Politics: More takeaways from the Nov. 7 election

In addition to comments on the Tuesday, Nov. 7, general election that I posted last week, here are some more:

Council race in Edmonds wasn’t close

I expected the contest between Edmonds City Council incumbent Kristina Johnson and challenger Josh Thompson to be close.

It wasn’t.

Results posted Tuesday, Nov. 21, showed Johnson winning by a 62 percent to 37 percent margin.

Thompson went into the election with a big fundraising advantage. He had reported raising $12,618 and spending $11,676, while Johnson had reported raising $4,628 and spending $4,198.

Thompson had the endorsement of the Herald editorial board and an endorsement from the Snohomish County Democratic Party, although Democrats in both the 21st and 32nd legislative districts posted dual endorsements for the two candidates. Local Republicans listed no endorsements.

The 21st District includes north Edmonds, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett. The 32nd District includes south Edmonds, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, the city of Lynnwood and part of Mountlake Terrace, the city of Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle.

Johnson’s advantage of incumbency apparently overcame Thompson’s fundraising and endorsements.

Snohomish County officials will continue to count ballots through final certification of results Nov. 28. Most ballots still being counted are from voters who needed to correct their signatures.

Chan hangs on in Fire District

Incumbent Fire District 1 Commissioner David Chan, who had looked vulnerable, apparently has survived an electoral challenge.

Chan leads challenger Michael Ellis by a 51 percent to 48 percent margin in returns reported through Tuesday.

Chan, one of two District commissioners accidentally recorded making racially insensitive remarks at a spring meeting, drew four opponents in the primary. The four drew 57 percent of the primary votes.

Ellis had hoped to get support from voters who backed one of the losing candidates in the primary. He got more votes in the general election than he and the other challengers had in the primary, but Chan’s name recognition helped him with the 3,700 people who voted in the general election but not in the primary.

Local firefighters groups backed Ellis. A political action committee sponsored by Firefighters Local 1828 made an independent expenditure of $10,478. Local1828 and another firefighters group made campaign contributions that totaled $2,500.

Ellis and the firefighters couldn’t reach everyone in the district. The number of voters who left the position blank (1,888) was more than triple Chan’s margin of victory (583 votes).

Snohomish County Fire District 1 includes all unincorporated areas of the county between Everett and the Snohomish-King County line. Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier get service from the district by contract, but residents of those cities don’t vote in district elections. Nor do Lynnwood voters even though Lynnwood and the district have formed a regional fire authority. District commissioners will represent unincorporated areas on the new South County Fire and Rescue RFA board.

MLT civic campus passed despite high validation requirement

The bond issue for a new Mountlake Terrace civic campus apparently has passed despite having a high validation requirement.

The validation requirement is the requirement that a bond measure can pass only with participation from at least 40 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the last general election. Then, the bond measure needed a 60 percent “yes” vote.

The measure easily got the 60 percent. The majority at a recent count was 69.5 percent. The 4,030 votes that put the total over 40 percent came only after three days of vote counting.

Getting the 40 percent was hard this year. The 4,030 was 40 percent of the number of Mountlake Terrace voters in last year’s presidential election. Next year, it would be much easier because a bond measure in Mountlake Terrace would need only about 1,840 votes — 40 percent of the 4,550 voters in this year’s election.

— By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at 

  1. I found your article is insulting the voters of Fire District 1 and I hope you agree with me. I would like to think the voters who vote for me are sophisticated voters who read the Voters Pamphlet and based on my qualification and records. There is no name recognition in low profile race such as Fire Commissioner. You wouldn’t write about this race if there weren’t any controversy. You make a very faulty assumption that had Ellis able to reach everyone and all the 1,888 blank votes would all for Ellis. You forgot to mention that the Union used smear campaign sending mailers to link me with Trump. You should read Everett Herald article about this race. It wasn’t about me. It is the Union trying to control the Board of Fire Commissioner by putting their candidate on the Board.

    David Chan

  2. Thanks for getting the information out there about Mr. Chan. He had plenty of time to rectify the situation with the Latino community but choose to ignore us. We will remember.

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