Johnson seeking third term on board of county commissioners

Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson is seeking a third term this fall.

And she’ll have competition. Two Democratic candidates have already filed for the position with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

Johnson, the former Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce director, represents her hometown as the commissioner for District 2, which encompasses the city of Oak Harbor and surrounding areas.

As a Republican, she’s been a steadfast supporter of the Navy and law enforcement and commonly questions spending decisions, yet she’s also cares about challenging social issues.

Johnson’s been a strong advocate for affordable housing and behavioral health treatment.

Johnson currently serves as the chairperson of the North Sound Administrative Service Organization, the regional agency that delivers behavioral health crisis services, and as the chairperson of the county’s Technology Committee.

She’s known as someone who says what she means.

“It’s easy to talk about what you have done,” she said, “but it’s harder to communicate things that haven’t happened because you were in the room.”

“I am often the brakes; and I believe that knowing when to say no is as important as saying ‘yes.’”

On the other hand, some of the projects she has said “yes” to include the conservation easement on North Whidbey’s Fakkema Farm, the construction of a Behavioral Health Stabilization Facility in Oak Harbor, the completion of Oakes Road in Central Whidbey, and the purchase of Barnum Point on Camano Island.

Oak Harbor resident Fe Mischo recently filed with the Public Disclosure Commission to run for the position as a Democrat. According to her campaign website, she has spent the last five years devoting her time to advocating and volunteering in the community. She is a member of the Community Health Advisory Board, the District Parents Advisory Committee, Housing Project Network, Library Board, Autism Partnership of Island County and PFLAG. She is also the communications lead for the Save the Children Action Network, Seattle chapter.

“Our residents deserve the fulfillment of basic needs like affordable housing, affordable quality childcare, more common communal spaces and homelessness assistance,” her platform states.

Mischo could not be immediately reached for comment.

Democrat Christopher Reed announced last fall that he is vying for the seat.

Reed, who owns Barnavit Industries in Oak Harbor, said he decided to run for office to solve problems that he sees “instead of complaining about it on Facebook.”

Reed is a lifelong Whidbey Island resident who said he hopes to focus on homelessness, the opioid crisis and deregulating small businesses.

Putting an end to speculation about what office she would pursue, Johnson made her formal announcement to seek reelection on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s a day that celebrates love, and those who know me understand that outside of my family and friends that there is nothing I love more than ‘place,’” she said, “and serving as Island County commissioner is a daily opportunity to put that love into action.”

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