Snohohomish County election results for 2023
A new sheriff takes the reins in January.
Voters selected Susanna Johnson, who ran on experience and trust, over incumbent sheriff Adam Fortney, who ran on law and order, in the county’s highest-profile election this year.
Johnson declared victory Nov. 9. Johnson had a 5,385-vote lead that mathematically sealed the win; she had 51% of the vote to Fortney’s almost-49%.
“I am honored and humbled to be elected as Snohomish County’s next Sheriff and I renew the promise I made one year ago to lead our Sheriff’s Office with integrity and respect, wearing the badge that must symbolize public trust,” Johnson said in a press release.
Although the sheriff’s position is nonpartisan, the Democratic Party backed Johnson and the Republicans backed Fortney. Outside groups such as the Alliance for Gun Responsibility and Everytown for Gun Safety paid for Johnson ads that cast Fortney as a white supremacist and extremist.
Voters returned incumbents in other county elections. County Executive Dave Somers secured a third term, auditor Garth Fell got a second term and assessor Linda Hjelle swept her race.
Fell received nearly 60% of the vote in a rematch against challenger Cindy Gobel. The gap was 33,000 votes. Last time out in 2019, Fell won by 4,000 over Gobel when it was a run for an open seat.
Snohomish School Board
Presuming results stick, Rob Serviss and Sherri Larkin will be joining the school board.
Larkin held a 131-vote lead over incumbent appointee Sarah Adams as of Nov. 9’s tally. Adams led the race in the first night of election results. In August, Larkin had emerged in a tight primary ahead of Adams and challenger Monica Weber.
Rob Serviss, formerly a winning Snohomish swim coach and aquatic center manager, held a good lead over Tabitha Baty since day one of the election results. They were running to fill a seat being vacated by Sara Fagerlie.
“I’m deeply appreciative of every vote I’ve received,” Serviss said.
Snohomish City Council
Maygen Hetherington will join the City Council in a seat vacated by Donna Ray. Competitor John Kartak’s name recognition of being the most immediate prior mayor may have helped get him 47% despite conducting no apparent election campaign this fall.
Council members Judith Kuleta and Felix Neals won re-election unchallenged.
Snohomish fire board
Voters dropped two incumbents as Craig Erickson and Brian Mills will join the board come January.
Erickson led more than 2-to-1 votes over Jill Gleason, or by 3,300 votes. Mills led by 2,000 votes over Richard Flath.
“Thank you to the voters of Fire District 4 for voting,” Erickson said by phone, “and for voting in a larger percentage in our election.”
More than two in five Snohomish-area voters put in ballots, compared to some other elections with under 40% turnout.
Mills said he was surprised by the size of his lead. “I think Richard (Flath) has been leading appropriately, and thought the race would be much closer,” Mills said. “And an even bigger surprise is the lead that Craig (Erickson) has over Jill (Gleason). Maybe voters were paying closer attention to the activities of the department and commission than I suspected, and felt that a change in oversight was prudent.”
The Snohomish firefighters’ union had endorsed Gleason and Mills.
Monroe School Board
Incumbent Chuck Whitfield maintained a lead over challenger Melanie Ryan which grew from a slim nine ballots to now 310. The two ideologically agree children need more support, but politically are polar opposites.
Ryan ran an extensive campaign to unseat him. In a concession declaration Nov. 9, Ryan told supporters that “if you are unhappy with tonight’s results, stay involved. Get involved. As I said previously, our vision and our hope should never rest on one person or one election. This school district — this community — is what WE collectively choose to make it.”
Incumbents Jennifer Bumpus, Jeremiah Campbell and James Etzkorn cruised to re-election.
In other elections
• Monroe City Council: Jake Walker succeeded on his third try to join the council, collecting 55% of the vote in a battle against Junelle Lewis for the open council seat being vacated by Ed Davis. In the other contested council race, incumbent Heather Fulcher got 65% of the vote to Melanie Lockhart’s 33%. Lewis, Walker and Lockhart all serve on the city’s planning commission.
• Everett City Council, Pos. 6: Voters have given Scott Bader a return path to the council through an at-large council seat; Bader bested challenger Demi Chatters, who had also run in 2021 against Ben Zarlingo for the District 5 council seat. The opening is because Brenda Stonecipher is retiring from council.
• Everett City Council, Pos. 7: Incumbent Judy Tuohy won with 60% of the vote over Judith Martinez, who had labor unions supporting her. This will be Tuohy’s third term on council.
• Snohomish Regional Fire: Voters said yes to Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue’s levy restoration request, meaning tax bills will return to $1.50 per $1,000 in assessed value. For fire board, Bill Wirtz and Troy Elmore were within 100 votes of each other.
• Monroe’s transportation benefit district renewal measure passed.
• Everett school board voters selected Charles Adkins over Ryne Rohla for an open board seat. Coincidentally, a challenger who didn’t advance in the primary, Roman Rewolinski, was appointed onto the board this fall to fill a vacant seat.
• Judges Patrick Moriarty and Miguel Duran won re-election.
• For Port of Everett commissioner, incumbent Tom Stiger bested challenger Bob Champion.
There were about 500 ballots left to tally countywide as of press time. Election results will be certified Nov. 28.
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