San Juan and Skagit county council candidates file for election - Salish Current
May 10, 2024
San Juan and Skagit county council candidates file for election
Toby Cooper, Dick Clever, and Editorial Staff

Election season has begun locally, with candidate filings this week. San Juan County Council is headed for change, regardless of the outcome: Neither incumbent has filed for re-election to the county’s two expiring positions, and three candidates for each seat will face off in the August primary. (

May 10, 2024
San Juan and Skagit county council candidates file for election
Toby Cooper, Dick Clever, and Editorial Staff


Primary contest in store for San Juan county positions

By press time on the May 10 filing deadline, six candidates had filed to run for San Juan County Council Districts 1 and 2. With three candidates vying for each seat, there will be a primary election on Aug. 6 to select finalists for the November election.

In Skagit County, as of press time, one council district has drawn two candidates who will face off in the November general election. The incumbent in one district seat was unopposed.

Throughout the coming election season, Salish Current will examine where candidates stand on issues and will fact-check their campaign materials and statements. Candidates are, in alphabetical order:

San Juan County District 1

Adrian Kilpatrick
Kilpatrick grew up on San Juan Island and is an active artist currently working as a home design and build specialist. He serves as a member of the county’s Climate and Sustainability Advisory Committee and the Friday Harbor Arts Commission.

Kari McVeigh
McVeigh serves as superintendent for the Shaw Island School District and formerly served as superintendent for the San Juan Island School District. She said she is running for the county council to help build consensus on the future of the San Juan Islands community. 

Stephanie O’Day
O’Day is a land-use attorney who has served clients in San Juan County for 33 years. She promised to bring passion, a fresh perspective and unwavering dedication to the county council.

San Juan County District 2

• Rick Hughes
Hughes served as District 2 council member from 2013–2020. He is a small-business owner experienced in organizational operations, structure and budgeting.

Justin Paulsen
Paulsen has lived in the county for over 20 years and operates a small business. He serves as an elected commissioner for the Orcas Park and Recreation District, chairs the San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee and is a founding member of the SJC Recovery in Community board. 

• Jonathan Welch
Welch operates the Orcas Island ferry dock. He has written that, “in San Juan County, party politics has abandoned the common man. It forgets about the responsibility of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.” 

Skagit County District 1

• Ron Wesen
Incumbent Wesen is unopposed.

Skagit County District 2

• Peter Browning
Browning, the incumbent in his first term, is a consultant on health care issues and identifies as an Independent.

• Richard Brocksmith
Brocksmith is in his second term on the Mount Vernon City Council and recently resigned from his position as executive director of the Skagit Watershed Council. He filed as a Democrat.

By Toby Cooper, Dick Clever and Editorial Staff

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