All three candidates are incumbents in their respective races. Among the big issues in the county: managing growth and keeping traffic moving.
Nate Nehring, Terry Ryan and Sam Low were leading in the races for the Snohomish County Council in Tuesday’s early, general-election returns. All the races were defined by how fast the county is growing and being tested by development and traffic.
In District 1, Nehring got 59 percent of the vote against Ray Miller. District 1 covers a vast rural area in the northern part of the county and includes the cities of Arlington and Marysville, but it is still dealing with growing pains impacting the rest of the county. Both said during the campaign it is a priority to create communities that offer jobs and services within a reasonable distance. They also want the county to more aggressively fight its opioid epidemic.
Voters in District 4, which includes Bothell, Brier, Mill Creek and Mountlake Terrace, went with Ryan. He picked up about 63 percent of the vote against Marcus Barton. Ryan said during the campaign the county needs to become more dense and offer better traffic solutions, while Barton wants to see more development in unincorporated areas.
The District 5 race is being led by Low with about 58 percent of the vote against Kristin Kelly. The enormous district, which reaches east from just outside of Everett through the Sky Valley and to the Cascades, had long been controlled by Democrats until Low won an election to replace Dave Somers, who was elected county executive against longtime Snohomish County politician Hans Dunshee.
Kelly wants the county to use major transportation hubs as centers for development and to think more about the environment, such as saving older trees, which play an important role in absorbing groundwater and keeping pollution out of rivers, lakes and Puget Sound. Low believes that the permitting process should be streamlined, allowing developers to build a wider variety of housing to meet the county’s needs.