Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Wynne administers the oath of office.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Wynne administers the oath of office.

It was standing-room only in Snohomish County Council chambers at the swearing-in ceremony of District 5 Councilmember Sam Low last week, as guests packed the room from front to back in a show of support.

The proceedings to usher in the newly elected county councilmember took place Tuesday, Nov. 29, inside Snohomish County’s Robert J. Drewel building in downtown Everett. A Republican from Lake Stevens, Low beat out former Councilmember Hans Dunshee in the Nov. 8 election, receiving more than 52 percent of the vote. The seat initially became open after it was vacated by Dave Somers, who was elected as Snohomish County Executive in November 2015.

Earlier this year, the county council appointed Dunshee, a former state representative, to fill the position until a special election could be held. Because Dunshee was appointed, Low was able to take office immediately after the election results were certified. The 5th District encompasses Monroe, Sultan, Snohomish, Index, Gold Bar, Lake Stevens and parts of Bothell.

For Low, formerly the president of the Lake Stevens City Council, the transition was seamless; he resigned his seat on the Lake Stevens City Council in the morning, and at 2 p.m. was ready to get to work at the county. His oath of office was administered by Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Wynne with palpable excitement in the air.

Once the proceedings were complete, the crowd enthusiastically rose to its feet in a standing ovation. 

Jack Richardson is the chair of the Snohomish County Republican Party for the 39th Legislative District.  

“I was one of many who attended the swearing in of our newest county councilman, Sam Low. The council chambers were filled with standing room only as Judge Wynne administered the oath of office,” Richardson said. “The room was electric with optimism and good cheer. Sam’s remarks were brief and in good spirit, as he excused himself to promptly go to work down the hall in his new office.”

Low was a familiar face in the communities of east Snohomish County throughout his campaign, a frequent attendee at council and chamber meetings as he worked to familiarize himself with the issues. Elected officials from Monroe and Sultan were in attendance at the swearing-in, including Monroe School Board member Darcy Cheesman, Sultan City Councilmembers Russell Wiita and Marianne Naslund, Monroe City Councilmember Jim Kamp and former Monroe City Councilmember Kurt Goering.

Low thanked everyone for attending the ceremony.

“Everybody here today, I have a story about each one of you,” Low said. “It’s impossible for me to share a story about each person that’s here today, but I do want to say that I look forward to representing the citizens of Snohomish County and the citizens of the 5th Council District.” 

He said he looked forward to getting started.

“I’m ready to get to work,” Low said. “In fact, I’m going to get to work as soon as all of you leave.”

In addition to serving as an elected official, Low serves as the president of the Lake Stevens Rotary Club, a service-oriented group that strives to give back to the community. Just two days after being sworn in on the county council, Low was at work with his fellow Rotarians serving dinner at Monroe’s Cocoon House, a nonprofit that serves homeless and at-risk youth in Snohomish County.

Those that worked on Low’s campaign are excited about the results of the election.

Goering, who left office last December after eight years of service on the Monroe City Council, helped throughout Low’s campaign, marching in both the Monroe Fair Days and Sultan Shindig parades, attending campaign events and waving signs along S.R. 522 during the morning commute. 

“I had the pleasure of meeting Sam Low during my last year on city council. His genuineness and approachability have served him well at Lake Stevens, and will continue to do so representing us on county council,” Goering said. “His campaign was a bright spot in an otherwise dreary 2016 election season.”

Sultan City Councilmember Marianne Naslund, who went to high school with Low, couldn’t be happier over the results of the election.

“I am delighted my longtime friend and high school classmate has successfully taken a seat at the county level,” Naslund said. “He will be a great asset to the east Snohomish County communities. I am looking forward to collaborating with him on several issues in the upcoming year.”

For Low, it was a whirlwind week, starting with the searing-in ceremony.

“Having the council chamber at standing-room only was an incredible experience for my swearing in,” Low said. “There were people from my childhood, high school, my rotary club, many elected officials from both sides of the political aisle and, of course, friends and family.”

When a person begins as a councilmember, they basically start with a clean slate, Low said. To help him hit the ground running, he hired Cheesman as his legislative assistant. Cheesman, who will work closely with Low to identify and target local issues, started work on Thursday, Dec. 1. So far, Low has found himself working 12 to 13 hour days, with additional work taking place from his home office. Three out of his first four days as a councilmember saw him in the communities of Sultan and Monroe for meetings and different community events, he said.

Low said he and his family worked hard on the campaign trail and he is working equally hard at his new job. He’s already spoken with state legislators on the topic of S.R. 522, and attended a meeting at the county with the Washington State Department of Transportation, that took place between council meetings during his first full day on the job.

“I have two other meetings scheduled on 522 this coming week and next week,” Low said. “I am thankful for the trust the voters have put in me to be their county councilmember, and I want to return their trust by working hard for our district.”

Anyone who needs help on county issues may contact Low at sam.low@snoco.org.