New Skagit County Government Elected in 2023 General Election

On November 7, 2023 five Skagit County residents submitted declaration of Write-in candidacy to the Office of Skagit County Auditor prior to the filing deadline, ran unopposed and received votes, and as a result, have been elected.  Candidates-elect appearing left to right;

Skagit County Commissioner District 2 - Steven Rindal

Skagit County Sheriff – Kevin Ewing

Skagit County Auditor – Cody Hart

Skagit County Treasurer – Linda Fussell

Skagit County Commissioner District 3 – Derrill Fussell

Voters right to vote and have their vote counted is guaranteed Pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Washington, and State laws such as;

CONST. Article I Declaration of Rights, Section 19 FREEDOM OF ELECTIONS

All Elections shall be free and equal, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage

RCW 29A.60.021 Write-in voting—Declaration of candidacy—Counting of vote

“…any voter may write in on the ballot the name of any person for an office. Votes must be individually tallied for a candidate who has filed as a write-in candidate for the office…”

County of Skagit Has Had No Elected Government Since January 2, 2023

Skagit County auditor, Skagit County sheriff, Skagit County commissioner District 2, Skagit County commissioner District 3, Skagit County prosecuting attorney, Skagit County treasurer, and Skagit County coroner did not file their Oath of Office and Bond with the Skagit County Clerk and Auditor as required by law.  All started performing official acts before being lawfully qualified and as a result, their office became vacated.

The Skagit County Clerk has certified, as found in the 2023 Case Summary of Public official bond filings, that 2022 candidates refused or neglected to file their bonds until February 1, 2023 and as a result, these unqualified candidates unlawfully assumed office prior to being lawfully qualified.

Case Summary shows no bonds and Oath on file until February 1, 2023. See case summary here,

All Offices Listed Above Were Vacant on January 2, 2023

Public Notice of Vacancies:

Skagit Valley Herald, March 21, 2023. Skagit County Officials Vacate entire government positions

The Commissioners and the Governor had 60 days to present candidates for vacant positions and did not.

  1. According to CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON ARTICLE II SECTION 15, vacated county offices are to be filled at the next general election which would be the November 2023 general election.
  2. On November 7, 2023 U.S. Citizens and residents of Skagit County eligible to hold office, that includes the Candidates Elect, submitted write-in declarations of candidacy to the office of Skagit County Auditor, and other positions for the November 2023 General Election.
  3. According to RCW 29A.60.021 Write-in voting—Declaration of candidacy—Counting of vote “…any voter may write in on the ballot the name of any person for an office. Votes must be individually tallied for a candidate who has filed as a write-in candidate for the office…”

Authorities in Support of Vacated Public Offices

Pursuant to RCW 36.16.060 Place of Filing Oaths and bonds;

Every county officer, before entering upon the duties of his or her office, shall file his or her oath of office in the office of the county auditor and his or her official bond in the office of the county clerk”

Pursuant to RCW 29A.60.280 (3), 

“ the oath of office must be taken as the last step of qualification as defined in RCW 29A.04.133..”

Pursuant to RCW 42.12.010 (6), 

Every elective office shall become vacant on the happening of …. His or her refusal or neglect to take his or her oath of office, or to give or renew his or her official bond, or to deposit such oath or bond within the time prescribed by law”

Pursuant to RCW 42.20.030, 

Every person who shall falsely personate or represent any public officer, or who shall willfully intrude himself or herself into a public office to which he or she has not been duly elected or appointed, or who shall willfully exercise any of the functions or perform any of the duties of such officer, without having duly qualified therefor, as required by law, or who, having been an executive or administrative officer, shall willfully exercise any of the functions of his or her office after his or her right to do so has ceased, or wrongfully refuse to surrender the official seal or any books or papers appertaining to such office, upon the demand of his or her lawful successor, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Pursuant to Constitution of the State of Washington, Article I Section 1,

SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.


It has been established law that as a result of the conduct complaint of herein, the offices of those named in the information has became vacant.

  1. Washington Supreme Court, Vanderveer v. Gormley, 53 Wash. 543, 102 Pac. 435 (1909),
  2. Washington Supreme Court, Riddle v. Elofson, 439 P.3d 647 (2019)
  3. Attorney General Opinion, AGLO 1980 No. "If so, then the execution of a new bond would appear to be required of the prior clerk if she desires now actually to continue serving.  And forher failure to execute that bond, the office could now be declared vacant under RCW 42.12.010, supra, in accordance with the rationale of State ex rel. Vanderveer v. Gormleysupra.1/

Prior to the November 7, 2023 election filing deadline, five candidates filed Declarations of Write-in Candidacy in the Office of Skagit County auditor for vacant Skagit County positions as prescribed by law and all five were unopposed, received votes, and have been elected.

November 7, 2023, Applications for write-in candidacy.

Notice to Vacate Elect’s office Click Here

Skagit Residents