Local candidates answer the question: Why are you running?

By Luke Putvin and Max Erikson

Ahead of the Aug. 6 primary election, the Lynnwood Times will be asking a series of questions to the Snohomish County Council, Lynnwood City Council and Edmonds School District candidates who will be on the primary election ballot. Because Lynnwood City Council Position 6 and Edmonds School District 15 Director District 1 candidates automatically advanced to the general election, they will not be featured in our primary election Q&A series.

All primary election candidates were given a week to submit their answers of no more than 200 words. In this issue, we received responses from one of the three Snohomish County Council candidates, 11 of the 12 Lynnwood City Council candidates and seven of the nine Edmonds School District candidates prior to our press deadline. If you missed each candidate’s bio in our last issue, visit lynnwoodtimes.com to read it.

The question posed this issue to candidates was, “Why are you running for office and why should voters vote for you?

Lynnwood City Council, Position 4 Candidates

Ashkan Amouzegar
Ashkan Amouzegar

Ashkan Amouzegar
I plan to live in Lynnwood for a long time and with a passion for service, I heeded Mayor Smith’s call for up and coming leaders. With purposeful action, I will work strategically to uncover, and to discover, a common vision to move us forward. I will focus on specific, measurable and achievable results to execute on Mayor Smith’s 2018-2020 strategic plan. I encourage viable growth in Lynnwood with a fortress balance sheet and financial sustainability.

While serving on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission, I collaborated on creating the “All Are Welcome” decals around Lynnwood – an invitation and statement that we are an appealing, trustworthy space connecting cultures. I will work to make Lynnwood an affordable place to live, work and enjoy life. I work with humility to find compromise and mutually beneficial solutions, even when in disagreement.

I am seeking the privilege of public office to be a fresh voice to elevate the community. Our legacy will become a regional model for a vibrant, equitable city. I am an ambassador, a champion, a connector, an advocate and I will serve with civic pride, endorsed by Mayor Nicola Smith, Senator Jesse Salomon, and Washington State House Representative Cindy Ryu.

Naz Lashgari
Naz Lashgari

Naz Lashgari
As the vice chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission of the city of Lynnwood, I have the privilege of attending many events pertaining to the planning of our city. The current projections for growth in Lynnwood are exciting. I have been witnessing the forward momentum of Lynnwood and it is important to me to be in the City Council position where I can contribute to the management of this growth. The strategic plan of the city is well established and we need council members who are committed to working as a team to bring this vision to life.

I believe I am the best candidate for this position because of my business background as well as my work on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission. I am running for city council because Lynnwood is my home and I bring a fresh, new perspective with a wide range of personal and professional experiences that will contribute greatly to the growth of our city.

I will be diligent in making sure our city will continue to be thriving while continuing to be an affordable, safe, welcoming and livable city for all its residents, where all are welcome.

Jim Smith
Jim Smith

Jim Smith
We must represent all the residents of Lynnwood and not just special interest groups. Lynnwood residents deserve to have their voices heard and be represented by leaders who are seasoned in their community, as well as sensitive to their issues.

There is no other candidate in this race that has more experience, has been more dedicated to the community, or has had as many years serving local organizations in so many areas, as myself.

Community involvement (past and present) includes: Neighbors in Need – helping the homeless; Snohomish County Board of Health Chairman; Police and Fire Disability Board; Lynnwood Fire Department Liaison; Junior Achievement Instructor; Angel Flight member and pilot – flying children and their parents out of state for medical treatment; Parks Board Liaison; Washington Pilots Association State President; former City Council President; Rotary International Officer; WSDOT Aviation Advisory Board; Trinity Lutheran Church longtime member; Lynnwood Festival Chairman; Seafair Commodore and Officer; member of the Washington Air Search and Rescue; Library Board Liaison; and South County Court Advisory Board.

James Rutherford
James Rutherford

James Rutherford
My qualifications are: Retired Boeing industrial engineer; former United State Air Force manager; member of Paine Field Community Council; SPEEA area and district representative; strong management skills; many certificates and management courses; and president of SOS board of the Alpine Ridge Association.

I moved to Lynnwood in 1968 after seven years in the United State Air Force as fire fighter and rescue personnel. After moving here, my family became involved in the community – PTA president, Little League baseball coaching and involvement in the local boy scout troop. We soon got involved in city government. My wife spent 20 years as a city councilperson at the time Lynnwood was growing. We saw much development such as the golf course, Alderwood Mall, our fire department and police force.

I’m concerned for our seniors’ low-cost housing, the influx of homeless, immigration and traffic. Lynnwood in the future will become a major hub between Everett and Seattle. Your vote is important to elect the right candidate to oversee this growth.

Diodato Boucsieguez
Diodato Boucsieguez

Diodato Boucsieguez
I’m running for Lynnwood City Council for the people and to bring fresh, new ideas to address high property and sales taxes, homelessness, and to preserve Lynnwood’s character.

The light rail system is coming to Seattle and we need to prepare our roads and infrastructure for the coming traffic. However, the high tax burden is unnecessary and eventually forces middle class people to leave in the name of progress. I find this untenable. I will fight to lower the tax burden for the people of Lynnwood.

Homelessness is a increasing problem in Lynnwood and this is due partially to Seattle’s mass urbanization effort. I will work to coordinate with local, county and state officials to help solve this problem for the benefit of the homeless and the people of Lynnwood.


Lynnwood’s identity, especially in recent years, has been that of a wholesome bedroom community where families can thrive and survive. That wholesome identity is threatened by city government’s expansion projects threatening to price families and the middle class out. I will fight to uphold Lynnwood’s character for future generations.

Vote for Dio for Lynnwood City Council Position 4 and give Lynnwood a chance for a brighter and fresher tomorrow!

Van AuBuchon:(Unable to respond)

Lynnwood City Council, Position 5 Candidates

David Schirle
David Schirle

Dr. David D. Schirle
We see today the results of electing people to public office who have made “poor” decisions. Those results are in the news daily. Like you, I have watched taxes go up with nothing being accomplished, public safety in decay and overall mismanagement. My decision was not just to vote but to get involved to offer my experience in life in the hopes of a better place to live and raise our families. I appreciate your vote.

My website is http://www.docforcitycouncil.com.

Julieta Altamirano-Crosby
Julieta Altamirano-Crosby

Julieta Altamirano-Crosby
With a track record of leading successful collaborations between communities and government projects, I am uniquely prepared to lead Lynnwood as a city council member.

Lynnwood needs leadership that can effectively manage growth. My entire professional life as a researcher has been about listening to those who are affected by change and growth, then partnering with them to implement the best solutions. Our community wants to keep and improve the safety of our streets, parks, and neighborhoods – I worked with law enforcement to reduce crime. We want to strengthen stability and give our citizens the opportunity to contribute to Lynnwood’s success – that objective defines my life’s work. We want to ensure Lynnwood’s economic success and financial stability – as a small business owner working with community organizations, I understand the return on investment that can be achieved if the community is involved.

Lynnwood faces many challenges but also is an amazing community with diverse commerce and engaged citizens. I want to use the skills I learned academically and professionally to keep Lynnwood a thriving community. I’m dedicated to listening to people to address the issues behind community concerns. This approach distinguishes my work and is what is needed on city council.

Rosamaria Graziani
Rosamaria Graziani

Rosamaria Graziani
I believe in safety and prosperity for all!

Fourteen years ago, my family’s utility bills ran $40. Our latest was $178, far outpacing the rate of inflation. Lynnwood’s revenues are hitting records, so there’s no need to squeeze residents dry. Homeowners are being priced out. Taxes and utilities also drive up rents, which forces people to move, leading to lower credit scores and children changing schools.

Housing instability hurts our social fabric. Many folks are one emergency away from homelessness. The main problem is that many jobs don’t pay enough, so Lynnwood must reduce the burden on low income residents. The thousands the city now donates to nonprofits could go to microloans. Subsidized rides to the Transit Center would encourage the use of public transportation and save our residents gas and insurance money, as would reimbursing owners of older cars the $40 Lynnwood adds to the tab renewal.

The Senior Center could become a Community Center, open 7 a.m.-10 p.m., where local entrepreneurs and the self-employed could network and gain skills.

Urban rest stops with showers, storage, laundry facilities and mail service would help vulnerable people help themselves and could easily be funded with the $200,000 in the present executive budget.

Lynnwood City Council, Position 7 Candidates

Shannon Sessions
Shannon Sessions

Shannon Sessions
I am running for re-election to another four-year term because more than ever Lynnwood needs councilmembers who have strong leadership skills, high integrity and common sense. Lynnwood needs leaders who are truly invested in the wellbeing of our fast-growing, robust, diverse and vibrant community.

We have so many dynamic issues in Lynnwood and opportunities in front of us. The work is challenging, vital and meaningful. I am grateful for the outpouring of support from my peers, other community leaders and many residents to continue my position on the council.

In both my public and professional lives, I have been a positive, decisive, innovative, gracious leader who understands the importance of cooperation and teamwork to achieve goals for our city. In addition to being appointed by my peers as the council’s vice president in 2018, I also serve as chair to the Lynnwood Tourism Advisory Board, city’s Audit and Insurance/Finance Committee, the city’s Historical Commission, city’s Disability Board, liaison to Lynnwood Police Citizens Patrol and alternate on Snohomish County 911 board.

As the only veteran on the council, I continue to meet our regional veteran experts and am an advocate for Hero’s Café, NW Veterans Museum and more.

Maggie Mae
Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae
When I talk with the people of Lynnwood, many tell me that they are afraid to let their kids play in the park, afraid to walk along the sidewalks and afraid to be out at night by themselves.

I am running for Lynnwood City Council to bring the voice of our residents alive! Although the city puts on various outreach events, the city is not going directly to the people proactively – I will change this.

When the affordable housing project got voted down, city council cited “a petition with over 100 signatures” – Lynnwood has around 40,000 residents. I’d be curious to know which council members knocked on the doors of residents and asked their opinions. We must ensure we are listening to all our residents and not just voters.

If elected, I will engage you! I will make an example of this every week up to election day. If you get a knock at your door and I’m on the other side I want to know what you want to see happen, what ideas you have, and what are you seeing. That’s how we will make sure Lynnwood is a place for all of us, by engaging all of us.

Shirley Sutton
Shirley Sutton

Shirley Sutton
I am running for re-election to serve the city of Lynnwood residents. Over these last four years, I have supported most financial challenges, environmental and zoning regulation changes that improved our community.

My focus on key issues like public safety, livable wage jobs, population growth, affordable housing for families and the elderly and expansion of small businesses, is priority.

With our increasing population growth, I hear from residents that public safety is a concern. I support funding of the police department back to levels needed to manage the growing population. Also, I support the new Civic Justice Center that is being planned to include our municipal court, corrections and other services provided by collaborative partners.

With the building of the light rail and other construction, I would champion that jobs be first available to qualified individuals who live in and around the Lynnwood area, which would allow residents to work and play where they live.

I would work with city staff to identify and attract small businesses that would be interested and qualified for city contracts.

I look forward to continuing to serve our community as we work together to maintain a place where families can live and prosper.

Edmonds School Board, Director District 3 Candidates

Jennifer Cail
Jennifer Cail

Jennifer Cail
My former career was as an accountant, specifically for non-profit education entities. I can bring fresh eyes and creative thinking to our district budget. As a parent educator through Edmonds Heights K-12, I have a unique perspective from any other current board member or candidate. I spend four days a week at a school campus interacting with teachers, administrators, parents and students to have a real understanding of what goes on in our schools. I have a child with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for speech, reading and writing, which gives me an understanding of how every child truly learns differently and what it takes for a teacher to be able to teach to each child. 

Altogether, my background experience in accounting, my support of arts education, and my understanding of how schools work and what it takes to teach every student make me an ideal candidate for Edmonds School Board.

Gary Noble
Gary Noble

Gary Noble
I am seeking re-election to the Edmonds School Board so I can continue the tremendous strides forward our district has made during my previous 16 years on the board. Improving student achievement is my highest priority, and the district is investing wisely in modern curriculums for math, literacy, and science, resulting in test scores that exceed state averages. We have invested in technology and provided Chromebook computers to every student in grades 2-12. My priority has always been to reduce class sizes, and our average class sizes are in most cases smaller than those in our neighboring districts.

The district strives to employ the best teachers and staff and our average teacher experience is higher than the state average. I have focused on improving teacher and staff support and training through shared decision making. Financial integrity may be the most important issue, and I have always supported balanced budgets through times of both increasing and declining funding with an emphasis on preserving school and classroom funding to the maximum extent. I appreciate your support. 

Rory Graves
Rory Graves

Rory Graves
In the wake of teacher layoffs, I am compelled to run against the incumbent for Edmonds School District, position 3.

I stand with teachers. Quality educators are the most important contributors to student achievement. I will be an advocate for lower student-to-teacher ratios and prioritize efforts to retain quality teachers and aides.

I will support increasing the resources available to English language learners and students who require extra educational support. I will champion clear communication and the development of open, accessible tools to engage educators and parents with board decisions.

Our schools must prepare students to succeed in our sunrise economy, whether in trade professions or STEM fields. A quality education includes and is greatly enriched by art, music, drama, and language instruction.

I hope residents will feel confident in voting for me based on my experience as a nonprofit board member and my work in educational media and on my platform of equity, accessibility and putting students’ needs first.

Learn more about my ideas at rory-graves.com.

Mary Schultz
Mary Schultz

Mary Schultz
In my run for the school board I am looking for the betterment of teachers and students. I would like to approach the issues with the 3 “C’s”. Nothing fancy about C’s but very practical.

The first “C” is common sense to have the best outcome for teachers and students. Although the budget is important, what we do with the budget is more important.

The second “C” is class size. This needs to be addressed as it directly impacts the safety of our schools. Smaller class size creates a more cohesive learning environment. The wellbeing and safety of our schools need to be given a high priority.

The third “C” is curriculum. We need to get back to teaching the basics. Teachers, parents and concerned voters should have a say about what is in the curriculum and say, “enough is enough,” when a change is in order.

You have a voice. Your vote is crucial. I respectfully ask for your vote.

Boe Lindgren: (No Response)

Edmonds School Board, Director District 5 Candidates

Lisa Hunnewell
Lisa Hunnewell

Lisa Hunnewell
My children have been a part of the Edmonds School District since 2001 and as my youngest becomes a senior at Meadowdale High School this fall, I want to offer my time and talents to give back to the community. I offer a new perspective based on my recent service on the 2020 Facilities and Bond Committee and I believe I can make a difference. Important issues I hope to address if elected are: (1) Overcrowding in our elementary schools and support for the 2020 school bond to renew our tired schools; (2) Looking creatively for new ways to serve our homeless students and their families to ensure they get to school and are prepared for success; and (3) Reviewing dollars spent by Edmonds School District that do not go directly towards our students’ education, to resolve our budget shortfall.

Residents should vote for me because they believe in the issues that I have outlined, and they want a servant leader and parent in the position. I will take the responsibility seriously and do everything I can to support and educate our children to assist them in becoming responsible and successful adults. 

(Bio included because it was not printed in last issue.) Over the past year I have served on the Edmonds School District’s Facilities & Bond Committee. In doing so I have toured nearly every elementary and middle school with a goal of making recommendations for rebuilding/remodeling schools for the 2020 bond issue. I have seen the crowded classrooms, the closets being turned into counseling spaces, and the libraries functioning as classrooms. I have walked with dedicated principals, teachers and staff through their buildings who are proud of how much they are accomplishing in very difficult situations. In these tight budget times, I hope to bring creative solutions to provide quality education while being a good steward of the tax dollars provided.

Professional Experience:
Senior Manager, Business Readiness & Training – Snohomish PUD (2007-current)
Meetings & Member Services Director – Washington PUD Association (2004-2007)
Youth Director – First Lutheran Church Richmond Beach (2002-2004)
Youth Director – Trinity Lutheran Church, Lynnwood (1998-2001)
Director of Education & Information – International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, Alexandria, VA (1991-1998)

Volunteer:
2020 Facilities & Bond Committee for Edmonds School District (2018-2019)

Education:
Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (1988)

Nancy Katims
Nancy Katims

Nancy Katims
When I joined the Edmonds School District staff 20 years ago, we had a sense of urgency about student learning and our outcomes reflected excellence. Today, that urgency has diminished and we’re not keeping pace. I’m running for school board to restore an energetic focus on helping all students reach their full potential.

Our district is facing major challenges. I have the experience, knowledge and skills needed to hit the ground running. I am familiar with the district strategies used to teach students, build budgets, support teachers and communicate with parents, teachers and community members. I know and care about every school in the district. I am familiar with state, local and federal laws we must follow. I know what questions to ask and I will be a tireless advocate for all the students we serve to ensure taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are spent carefully and wisely to achieve student success.

As the parent of two Edmonds graduates, I know students learn best when they have small class sizes, modern facilities, reliable transportation and are taught by teachers with the resources and professional development they need. When considering every decision before the board, I will always put students first.

Rina Redrup
Rina Redrup

Rina Redrup
Ever since I was a teacher in public schools, I wanted to serve on the school board. I taught integrating the arts into the curriculum and project-based learning. Later, success was measured by whether kindergarteners, many of whom did not speak English, could read words rather than if they’d had an enriching experience. I believe that memorization without meaning is detrimental to children’s self-esteem and develops the kind of anxiety that we are seeing in children in greater prevalence. It’s important to address the disadvantages that marginalized groups face when “success” is given such strict guidelines. I want to find a way for the standardized goals to not mask the real purpose of education which is to bring out the potential of our children.

I am an avid supporter of the Edmonds School District; former president/VP of Meadowdale’s parent group and member of Sports Boosters and Arts & Music boosters. I have written three successful grants for arts and education. I moved to Edmonds in 2010, where my three children graduated from the Edmonds School District. I desire to make our schools the best for kids and have the education, capabilities, leadership and energy to do the job with integrity and efficiency.

Casey Auve III
Casey Auve III

D.P. (Casey) Auve III: (No Response)

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Snohomish County Council District 3 Candidates

Stephanie Wright
Stephanie Wright

Stephanie Wright
I’m a former teacher-librarian, born and raised in Snohomish County. I bring experienced, proven leadership as your council member fighting on behalf of Snohomish County families. I’m running to champion the issues that impact our families and community. This election is about responsible government that serves the people.

Public Health and Safety – safe and inviting communities, with a commitment to providing critical 911 and emergency services, public health programs and protection of our most vulnerable.

Transportation – a balanced system that includes transit, trails, bike lanes, sidewalks and road systems that provide easy connectivity throughout the region.

Preparing for Regional Growth and Quality of Life – preparing for future growth while protecting our pristine shorelines, parks and open spaces. Protecting and improving our environment guarantees that we can continue to share our quality of life for generations.

Continued Fiscal Responsibility – I’ve delivered balanced, no-tax-increase budgets, while restoring and providing for additional public safety, essential services, and economic opportunities. It’s about working collaboratively and bringing partners together to find solutions to make government work for you.

I’ve worked hard every day championing the needs of our community and getting us results. I’d be honored to continue to serve the citizens of District 3.

Meier Lowenthal
Meier Lowenthal

Meier G. Lowenthal: (No Response)

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Willie Russell
Willie Russell

Willie Russell: (No Response)

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Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

Mario Lotmore has 1263 posts and counting. See all posts by Mario Lotmore

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