Election season has officially begun with the end of filing week.
However, turnout for filing week wasn’t what some may have expected; for example, two city council seats that opened up earlier this year in Enumclaw saw a record number of 18 residents apply to be appointed to those spots, with the vast majority of them saying they’d run for council if they weren’t.
But it appears most have backed away from their political aspirations, as all the Enumclaw council positions — and the mayor’s seat — are going unchallenged.
The city of Black Diamond is having a similarly lackluster election season, with only one council position being challenged.
Meanwhile, the city of Buckley looks like it’ll have an exciting season with four residents running to replace Mayor Pat Johnson, who will be retiring as the city’s longest-serving mayor in its history.
And finally, a raft of school board and fire protection district seats are up for grabs as well.
Mayor Pat Johnson will finish her 4-term, 16-year tenure as Mayor this year, capping the longest mayoral career in City history. She’d spent the 14 years prior as a City Council member, so she retires from a 30-year career in city politics.
“If I’d have known I was going to stay this long, I’d have asked for a pension,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she’s proud of the work the City has accomplished in that time, but she wants her life back.
“I want to travel and do a lot of hiking while I still have the energy and the legs to do it,” said Johnson, 70. “I need time to spend with my husband (and accomplish) everything else that needs to be done around the house. … It’s tempting to sign up again, but no, I’m going to make sure I’m far away from any computers so i’m not tempted.”
At this stage, she has no endorsements for her successor. Johnson said she will support and mentor whoever is elected.
Her seat will be sought by four challengers: Current council member Marvin Sundstrom, Beau Burkett, Richard O’Neill and Gabrielle Abbott.
On the City Council:
Pos. 1: Current council member Ron Smith, Jason Burnett and Sean Wilson have filed.
Pos. 2: Current council member Connie Bender and Mackenzie A. Breeden have filed.
Pos. 3: Maureen Sundstrom and Kenneth Arsanto have filed.
Pos. 7: Greg Stanfill, Donovan Colt Torp and Brandon Green have filed.
Buckley will also have some election season excitement, with one council position headed for a primary race.
First off, Councilmember Melissa Oglesbee decided to not file for election. In her stead, Trish Stallard and Glen Yadon have filed for Position No. 2.
Similarly, Councilmember Chris Wisnoski declined to file for re-election for Position No. 3. Three residents, Corey Bailey, Jennifer Todesco, and Therron Smith hope to fill his seat come November. The three candidates will be vying for your vote come the August primaries.
Leih Mulvihill in Position No. 4, Bernie O’Donnell in Position No. 6, and Debbie Page of Position No. 7 have all filed for election, and run unchallenged, along with Mayor Carol Benson.
Councilmembers Tamie Deady in Position No. 1 and Kristiana de Leon in Position No. 5 will be up for election in 2023.
The collective face of the Enumclaw City Council will appear a bit different when the calendar flips to 2022, with two new additions to the seven-member governing body.
That news was made official during last week’s official filing period, a five-day run where candidates toss their proverbial hats into the political ring.
There’s no great drama in Enumclaw, as none of the city positions drew more than a single candidate. So, there will be nothing decided during the August primary election and November’s general election is merely a formality.
The lack of competition starts with the top office at City Hall, where incumbent Mayor Jan Molinaro is unchallenged in his bid for another four-year term. Also without competition are a pair of council newcomers, Corrie Koopman Frazier and Thomas Sauvageau; each survived a crowded field to replace an existing councilmember during the past year.
Those two were appointed in 2020 when Tony Binion and Kyle Jacobson stepped down. The council’s newest members had to run this year to keep their seats.
The changes to the council makeup will come in Position 3 and Position 7, where incumbents Kael Johnson and Hoke Overland are not seeking re-election. The only names on the ballot to take their place are Bobby Garcia and Chris Gruner. They will begin full, four-year terms when the new year rolls around.
TOWN OF CARBONADO
The small town’s voters will have one decision to make, as Council Position 1 is being sought by incumbent David Rodway and challenger David Bentley.
The lone applicant for the Position 2 seat is Clint Emry, already a sitting council member.
TOWN OF WILKESON
There will be no change at the top – Mayor Jeff Sellers is unopposed in his bid for another term – but city voters will still have one decision to make when casting their ballots.
That won’t come with Position 2, where Ashley Murphy is the only one running for a seat being vacated by Mark Zumba, or with Position 3, where incumbent Bambi Thawsh is unopposed in her re-election bid.
Position 1, however, has attracted two candidates: Shalon VanHoof and Krista Farmer. The two will be looking to take over the seat now occupied by Jennifer Kramer.
WHITE RIVER SCHOOL DISTRICT
The most interesting factor in the district is veteran board member Denise Vogel. She has served as a board member since 2005 in Position 3. A change is residency meant she had to step away from the board.
Now she’s running for the vacant Position 1 seat, where she’s being challenged by Mike Madden. The position is being vacated by Mike Jansen who has served since 2009.
The Position 3 vacancy is being sought by Amy Molen and Shaun Maas. Also on the ballot is the Position 4 seat where incumbent Cassie Pearson is being challenged by Brandy Alonzo.
ENUMCLAW SCHOOL BOARD
Two of the three available board positions have attracted just a single candidate – Julianne DeShayes for Position 2 and Lori Metschan for Position 4.
When it comes to the Position 5 seat, however, voters will have a primary election choice to make. Filing for the board spot were Tara Martel and Paul Fisher.
The three school board seats are being vacated by incumbents Jennifer Watterson (Position 2), Melynda O’Brien (Position 4) and Bryan Stanwood (Position 5).