Island County election races take shape

The general election this fall has the potential of creating a sea of change in Island County government.

A total of nine county elected positions are up for grabs. The filing period for those seeking the seats is already close at hand. Candidates must file during the week of May 12.

The county positions that will appear on the ballot are assessor, auditor, clerk, commissioner, coroner, prosecutor, sheriff, treasurer and district court judge.

In addition, state Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano, are up for reelection and already have challengers; U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat, is likely to be in the same boat.

But so far, the only action on the local front appears to be in the commissioner race.

Commissioner Kelly Emerson, a Republican representing District 3, said earlier this year that she will not seek re-election. Three Republican candidates and one Democrat have already filed to replace her.

Current Republican candidates for commissioner are Robert Bagley of Camano Island, Richard Hannold of North Whidbey and Erhard Hennemann of Camano Island. Democrat Karla Jacks of Camano was the first to throw her hat into the ring.

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks, a Democrat, initially didn’t plan to run again, but announced that he changed his mind last week.

Assessor Mary Engle, Clerk Debra Van Pelt, Sheriff Mark Brown and Treasurer Ana Maria Nuñez have already filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

In state races, Camano Island resident Michael Scott, a Libertarian, is running for Rep. Smith’s seat.

Nicholas Petrish, a Democrat in Mount Vernon, plans to run against Rep. Hayes.

Candidates may file electronically, through the U.S. mail or in person at the Elections Office in Coupeville, which is at 400 North Main Street.

The Elections Office will be open Monday, May 12, through Friday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To file electronically, candidates can go to, select “elections” in the green menu bar at the top of the page and follow the prompts for online filing. The Auditor’s Office suggests that candidates retain copies of their online filings.

For election-related questions, call 360-679-7366 or email