Adam Cornell, a 15-year Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor, has announced that he will seek the elected Prosecuting Attorney job in 2018.
Incumbent Mark Roe is retiring from the position and is endorsing Cornell, alongside former Governors Gregoire and Locke, County Executive Dave Somers, Sheriff Ty Trenary, and over two dozen other current and former elected and civic leaders.
This is Cornell’s first run for public office after working on complex criminal cases in the County, as well as a stint as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.
“I am excited to seek this new role, building on my experience and commitment to the families of Snohomish County,” said Cornell in a press release. “I want to be Prosecutor to preserve the tradition of seeking justice fairly, firmly, and ethically to protect our communities. I want to continue fostering collaboration and innovation among law and justice partners as we look for ways to not only enforce our laws and protect crime victims and their families, but adopt innovations that restore lives impacted by addiction and other crises.”
During his tenure at the Prosecutor’s office, Cornell has helped prosecute some of the highest profile criminal cases, but also expanded alternative justice programs, particularly those aimed to help people suffering mental illness and addiction crises receive treatment instead of costly and ineffective incarceration.
Cornell said he views these types of alternative sentencing and treatment programs as critical to improving criminal justice and reducing low level property crimes connected to the opioid epidemic.
“Having stood at crime scenes with first responders and having later met with the families devastated by tragedy, I am unwavering in my dedication to justice and seeking sentencing that brings a degree of resolution in serious crimes,” said Cornell in a press release. “Alongside ensuring justice for crime victims and families, support is also needed for innovations like drug and mental health courts to help assist low level offenders with unique challenges that often require alternatives to traditional prosecution and sentencing.”
Cornell said he was drawn to the law by challenges he faced in his own life, growing up in foster care and experiencing the disruption and destabilization that results in disproportionately lower graduation rates, and higher involvement with juvenile justice.
“I want to be a Prosecutor who can be a strong voice for kids at risk of slipping through the cracks, making sure more foster children and those who face an uncertain future are given hope and opportunity,” said Cornell in a press release. “I want to inspire others to public service and civic engagement, and encourage a spirit of volunteerism that connects people to their neighbors in a meaningful way—for the good of everyone in our region.”
Cornell, a Democrat, begins the campaign with support from Snohomish County civic and elected leaders, as well as prominent statewide officials.
“I am honored to have earned the support of so many public officials,” he said in a press release. “I look forward to the campaign ahead and the opportunity to meet with voters across the County in the coming year.”