SNOHOMISH County Councilmember John Koster, who is term-limited out after 12 years, leaves some big shoes to fill. He has been a good fit for his district, which includes Marysville and Arlington, and an effective council member.
Five candidates are competing in the Aug. 6 primary to replace Koster. Ken Klein, who serves on the Arlington City Council and the Snohomish County Planning Commission, is the best choice.
Klein, a financial manager working for a food-service company in Redmond, has the civic experience and preparation to step up to the duties and challenges on the council.
Klein would take on the job with the same agricultural roots and conservative, Republican viewpoints Koster offered. The newcomer would be wise to model himself after Koster, who worked across party lines and had influence even as the lone GOP council member.
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The other Republican in the race is Gary Wright, a longtime real-estate agent, who lives in Marysville. The contest has two Democrats. Bill Blake is a natural-resources manager for the city of Arlington, and Carsten Mullin, who works for the county as a records-management specialist. He is on the Arlington parks board. Libertarian Sean Olson works in the Marysville public-works department.
None of the five candidates veer off in vastly different directions. All want the county to promote economic development and make their region attractive to Boeing and aerospace contractors.
Boosting local school programs and bringing more continuing education in science, technology, engineering and math into the county is valued by all.
Klein stands out as the candidate who has faced voters in an election, and been chosen for office. Wright knows land use from his own industry’s perspective. Blake has expertise in natural-resource issues.
Based on experience and potential, Ken Klein is the best candidate for the District 1 seat on the Snohomish County Council.