Bothell Mayor Lamb may run for Snohomish County executive seat

Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb said the outcome of the next Snohomish County budget cycle may determine whether or not he will make a try next year to unseat Democratic Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

“It’s something a lot of people have approached me about,” said Lamb, who would run as a Republican for county office.

Lamb added he is flattered by the talk of him running for higher office, but also said the attention is a reflection of what he believes he and other Bothell politicians have been able to accomplish in the areas of city budgeting and economic development.

“Politics is a team sport,” he stated.

Beyond being a husband and father, Lamb also added his first priority remains the city of Bothell and he said he certainly intends to fill out his term in local office. That term runs through the end of next year. But while he played up what he said is the overall health of the Bothell economy, Lamb contended it’s no secret that Snohomish County has what he termed “enormous financial problems.”

Going one step further, Lamb also argued the county has not been particularly helpful to its cities and communities on several fronts, particularly criticizing Snohomish’s handling of annexation issues.

Responding at least partly to the concerns of local fire districts, it was the Snohomish County Boundary Review Board (BRB) that formally snuffed Bothell’s attempts to annex its northern growth area last year. At the time, Lamb said local staff had put a lot of time and effort — not to mention the city having spent a considerable amount of money — promoting annexation plans in 2009, only to have those plans nixed at seemingly the last minute by the Snohomish BRB.

Currently, Bothell officials are in the midst of what they have advertised will be a yearlong process to jump-start the annexation process.

Returning to economic topics, Lamb said before making any decisions regarding his political future, he wants to see what comes out of the next round of Snohomish County budget decisions. Lamb said there have been some changes at the top of Snohomish County, namely the resignation of a county deputy executive.

“I want to see how those things play out,” he added.

Lamb said if the next county budget seems reasonable, his running for higher office becomes less likely. But he added the opposite is true, as well. He said Snohomish County can’t afford four more years of what he sees as budget mismanagement.

“It’s really not about me,” Lamb insisted. “It’s about, is Snohomish County moving in the right direction?”

Lamb may or may not have company in taking on Reardon. State Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, also is reportedly considering entering the coming contest. Hope could not be reached for comment.

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