Sultan mayor tapped to fill House seat

Eslick to serve both roles until transition plan is decided

Kelly Sullivan

Carolyn Eslick will fill the seat left vacant by former Rep. John Koster in August.

As of Wednesday the mayor of Sultan now also works in the Washington House of Representatives. Eslick is representing the 39th Legislative District, which is comprised of sections of Skagit, King and Snohomish counties.

Eslick was up against four other candidates for the appointment. The pool went through four rounds of voting in early September.

Precinct committee officers for the 39th District cast the initial votes, she said. Eslick placed third out of four of the five hopefuls in the first round. She eventually beat out former Monroe mayor Robert Zimmerman and classical harp player Bronn Journey.

Georgene Faries, who is president of the Evergreen Republican Women's Club and was the campaign manager for Eslick when she ran for Snohomish County Executive in 2014, and former Rep. Elizabeth Scott of Monroe were her competitors in the final two rounds.

The Snohomish County Council and the Skagit County Board of Commissioners conducted interviews with the three finalists, and the King County Council asked them to fill out a questionnaire, Eslick said. She said she was the first and only one nominated for the fourth ballot. The final voting took place in the Snohomish County Council chambers on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Eslick immediately took the majority of the votes, she said. All five county councilmembers approved the appointment. She said she had been hopeful, but the results were unexpected.

“It was an experience that I will never, ever forget,” Eslick said.

Applications for the position were sent in at the start of September. Eslick said it has taken her about 17 years to get to the House of Representatives. She first ran for the seat in 2001, but the job went to Rep. Dan Kristiansen of Snohomish.

Eslick is on double duty for the time being. She will remain Sultan's mayor until it can be decided how she will be replaced.

“I am waiting for collaboration with the council and city staff to decide how the transition is going to happen,” she said.

Eslick has held the position for the past 10 years. She is currently serving a four-year term that ends on Dec. 31, 2019. She has lived in Sultan since 1979.

Eslick said she brings a well-rounded resume to the new job. She has experience with public policy from her six years on the Sultan City Council, and many years in business development; she formerly owned The Dutch Cup restaurant in Sultan, and she is the founder and GroWashington Board of Directors president. She also has experience working with legislators from her time spent each year lobbying for Sultan at the state capitol.

For the next few months Eslick will travel throughout the 39th District. She will host public meetings and get to know local leaders, she said, so she is familiar with the interests of new constituents when she heads to Olympia in January.

After her approval Wednesday, Eslick announced she will run to hold the seat next fall, which is when Koster's term would have been up. He was eight months into a two-year term.

Koster is now the executive director of the Washington State County Road Administration Board. The Arlington resident resumed a position in the House of Representatives in January after a 12-year stint on the Snohomish County Council.

Eslick was sworn in by Snohomish County Superior Court judge Cindy Larsen at the county council chambers on Wednesday. 

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick was sworn in as the new 39th District representative in the Washington House of Representatives by Snohomish County Superior Court judge Cindy Larsen at the county council chambers on Wednesday, Sept. 20.


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