A kirkland Libertarian who ran for Congress in the 8th District died last weekend in a sky-diving accident near Snohomish. Spencer Garrett, 52, died...

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A Kirkland Libertarian who ran for Congress in the 8th District died last weekend in a sky-diving accident near Snohomish.

Spencer Garrett, 52, died instantly about 11:30 a.m. Saturday after he made a sharp turn with his open parachute while floating about 30 feet from the ground, said Elaine Sutton, spokeswoman for Skydive Snohomish.

Garrett’s chute had opened properly, but he found himself approaching power lines near the landing zone southeast of Harvey Field, on Old Snohomish Monroe Road. A burst of turbulence apparently pushed him downward about 50 feet, and he then turned too sharply and too quickly in an attempt to avoid the wires, Sutton said.

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The sharp turn caused his parachute to drop to the ground.

Garrett took up sky diving about 2-½ years ago and was on his 190th jump, most of them with Skydive Snohomish. He was just a few jumps away from attaining the third of four possible levels of sky-diving licenses.

“He was not out to push his limits,” Sutton said. “He was very competent in what he was doing, and this is a real shock to all of us.”

Garrett, who was single, grew up in the southeastern United States and earned a bachelor’s degree in statistics from the University of Georgia. In the 1996, he founded 2alpha, a Bellevue Internet service provider. He also served as a precinct committee officer for the Libertarian Party.

He received less than 2 percent of the vote in November when he ran against former King County Sheriff Dave Reichert and radio talk-show host Dave Ross for the open seat in the 8th Congressional District.

Garrett’s death was the first sky-diving fatality at Harvey Field in 15 years, and the first ever for Skydive Snohomish, Sutton said.

Garrett was also a licensed pilot and had taken up sky diving to “reconnect his body and mind and [find] freedom from his fears,” Sutton said. Garrett was revitalized by the hobby and appeared happier, she said.

“He was kind, unconditionally kind,” Sutton said. “… And his presencewill be sorely missed.”

Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or abach@seattletimes.com