Letter to the editor

Vote for Gobel

Isn’t the underlying job of a civil servant to serve the public?

If that’s the case, and I’m most certain it is, wouldn’t we want the candidate with copious amounts of community involvement in that role? The answer is yes, and that candidate is Cindy Gobel, she’s running for Snohomish County auditor.

Anyone who takes a close look will clearly see that she is the better choice. Her years of service to our community far outweigh her opponents.

A large part of her platform is based on community involvement and bringing together organizations to help build a foundation for youth. To assist in the navigation of the voting system and help close the gaps where many community groups feel neglected. Thus, helping to improve voter turnout.

Her lifelong dedication to community is demonstrated at the local, county and state levels. Gobel has the foundation, let’s give her the opportunity to do it.

Nancy Rambo, Arlington

Vote for Fell

Your county auditor’s office provides elections, licensing, recording and animal services to county residents. As customers, you should demand that the Auditor’s Office be a well-run and efficient organization. Garth Fell is the best candidate for county auditor.

Your county auditor should be an experienced, proven professional. Fell has more than 20 years of experience working in elections and the last 12 managing the elections and voter registration division of the Snohomish County auditor’s office. He also managed the recording division for eight years and is a respected member of the auditor’s office leadership team.

Your county auditor should be a person of high integrity. Fell will provide non-partisan leadership for the auditor’s office, which is so important when you are in charge of administering local, state and national elections.

Your county auditor should be a careful steward of your tax dollars. Fell has many years of experience efficiently managing multi-million dollar budgets. He never loses sight of the fact that tax dollars are hard-earned and must be spent wisely.

Your county auditor should be a respected public servant. Fell is known throughout county government and by other county auditors statewide as a heck of a nice guy that has a pragmatic, common-sense approach to providing effective and efficient government services.

Connie Barndt, Tulalip

Retain Judge Okoloko

I support retaining Judge Edirin Okoloko for Superior Court judge. I am a retired victim advocate who worked with domestic violence and sexual assault victims, survivors and family members for 31 years in Snohomish County. I have had the privilege to work with Edirin Okoloko for years. I met him when we worked at Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center working with the most-vulnerable members of our community, children. I also have worked with Anna Goykhman/Alexander primarily as a defense attorney representing the defendants in these cases. I was surprised to see letters describing her as an ally of victims. She may have been involved in such things in her spare time, but she has not been known for this in her professional life. She has been a criminal defense lawyer for almost 20 years with an advertised specialty of defending those charged with sex crimes against women and children. Defense interviews were sometimes intense and difficult for victims. Edirin always treated victims with dignity and respect regardless of their age, making sure they understood what would happen next and answering any questions. I worked many trials with Edirin and saw his compassion and commitment to these cases. Edirin has a vast knowledge of the law, very strong professional ethics and is a much-respected member of this community.

Annette Tupper, Snohomish

Vote for Nehring

Few issues are more visible than traffic congestion in our Puget Sound region. This is a huge problem that burdens workers and families. We are so pleased that under Mayor Jon Nehring’s leadership, Marysville has been successful in securing over $160 million from the state legislature for traffic-congestion relief. We pay plenty of taxes to Olympia and Washington, D.C., so it is nice to see those tax dollars come back to Marysville to be invested in important local projects.

We are excited about having two new interchanges built in Marysville, one at Highway 529 and the other at 156th Street. In addition, we are getting needed help with interchange improvements at 88th and 116th streets. These investments are a great benefit for our area. Thank you Nehring and the City Council for your work on bringing these dollars back home.

Josh & Kelly Estes, Marysville

Another vote for Gobel

Growing up in a conservative family and being the only member that doesn’t fall in line with that party’s typical beliefs has left me the odd man out at most family gatherings.

But the one thing we all agree on is that Cindy Gobel should be our next Snohomish County auditor.

We are well-aware the position is nonpartisan but that doesn’t mean the person holding office is. It’s important to my family that the person elected be one of honor and integrity. We asked both candidates: “What political party are you affiliated with?”

Gobel was honest and forthcoming. Her opponent, Garth Fell, was not. I was disappointed by his response but given his track record in King County I’m not surprised.

Gobel’s an active member in the Democratic Party but explains that her 14 years of working in a nonpartisan office is how she conducts herself as a leader. Noting that while the position is nonpartisan, she is entitled to her own opinions outside of the office. But when in office a nonpartisan role means to follow the law and implement it. In her response to my question she included a podcast that highlights how to work in a nonpartisan office in a partisan world. Gobel was helpful and chockful of information. Combine that with her education, law degree and all the years of experience, and my Republican-heavy family is throwing our support behind Gobel.

Steven Albro, Marysville

Vote for Okoloko

I was disturbed to read a 10/24/19 letter to the editor regarding Anna Alexander, running for Superior Court judge against incumbent Judge Edirin Okoloko. Ms. Alexander is portrayed as a champion of victims. I worked in the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office for nearly 30 years, many of which were spent supervising the Special Assault Unit, prosecuting crimes committed against child and adult victims. Edirin Okoloko was a deputy prosecutor during that time, and I saw the thoughtful and caring way he represented child and adult victims. He was one of the most-exceptional deputy prosecutors I have known. Since becoming a judge, he has maintained his respectful approach to victims and accused alike. He was rated No. 1 in the Snohomish County Bar Poll by attorneys on both sides of the courtroom.

During my tenure, Ms. Alexander, who went by the name Goykhman until recently, specialized in defending those accused of committing sex crimes against children and adults. On numerous occasions, deputy prosecutors came to me with troubling accounts of Ms. Alexander treating victims extremely poorly and without the respect that everyone in our criminal justice system deserves. She earned a very unflattering reputation.

I believe it is important to know who we are voting for. The letter and Ms. Alexander’s campaign literature do not mention her long career representing those charged with sex crimes, nor her treatment of victims.

Lisa Paul, Anacortes

Still another vote for Gobel

As a former King County voter, I know all too well of Garth Fell. The duty of elections is assuring the integrity of the process. Who remembers the 2004 Dino Rossi race? If you don’t – please look it up. Ballot counts were astronomically off and Garth Fell certified the false results. Ballots were later found in a closet.

In the 2019 primary why were there 20 more ballots counted than received? If it was a software bug, then the entire state would’ve had the same issue – which wasn’t the case.

Why as a candidate, and an election manager with access to ballots and voting systems, has Fell not removed himself from managing voting processes? He signed election certification documents as well as stated at the Lake Stevens Candidate Forum that he has oversight of the 2019 General Election.

Whether poor judgement or intentional – surely, he must realize the conflict of work and campaigning. Cindy Gobel removed herself from Snohomish County oversight in January.

Fell’s office purposely delayed installing ballot boxes mandated by legislation. It took a fellow Granite Falls voter two years of consistently calling Fell before she requested a law at the state level, to get one installed.

Voter turnout in Snohomish County is low and everyone wonders why? Voters in rural communities are marginalized because of Fell’s management. I urge Snohomish County voters to do their research on both candidates.

Vote for Cindy Gobel.

Kelly Moselage, Granite Falls

Candidate ‘misleading’

As director of the Snohomish County Office of Public Defense, I am proud of the work public defenders do for the accused and underprivileged. It is from that place that I concernedly write about representations made by Anna Alexander, candidate for judge.

I have known her for the 12 years I worked as a public defender as Anna Goykhman. She had a successful career also as a for-profit defense attorney. Her advocacy for those accused of sex crimes and DV offenses is well-known.

However, she now claims in campaign mailings that she is a “former prosecutor” and civil lawyer completely omitting her important work as a public defender. Her prosecutorial experience was limited to a brief period as a student intern. Her online profile shows that her work is devoted exclusively to criminal defense.

It concerns me when a judicial candidate who will hear criminal cases changes her name and resume, retreating from the important work of defending the accused.

Misleading voters is unacceptable. If judges must be anything, it is honest and fair, which is why I am joining other lawyers and judges in supporting Judge Okoloko. He is a man of integrity whose resume speaks for itself. He deserves your vote.

Jason Schwarz, Seattle

Vote for Alexander

As a judge and former colleague, I strongly recommend Anna Alexander for Superior Court judge. I believe Anna is the right candidate because of her integrity and her diverse experience.

I first met Anna Alexander while we were both law students at the University of Washington, where, at age 19, Anna was the youngest woman ever admitted. We worked often as partners and tried our first cases together. I have had the privilege of observing every aspect of Anna’s career. A fierce advocate and a talented litigator, Anna has consistently earned the respect of prosecutors, judges and attorneys. Anna has wide-ranging experience in criminal and civil law, including family law, and she has represented people in all kinds of difficult situations.

While in private practice, Anna has regularly donated her time to represent the most vulnerable, including women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Anna understands the legal problems faced by families in our community, and she will ensure that every person, regardless socio-economic status, has meaningful access to justice.

Named a “Champion of Public Safety” by our local firefighters, supported by the majority of local mayors, and endorsed by judges at every level of our state courts, Anna Alexander is our best choice for Superior Court judge.

Judge Amy Kaestner , Everett