One of the last people to register during the 2023 candidate filing period in Island County, Langley Mayor Scott Chaplin decided not to file for his current position but that of another elected official.
Chaplin will challenge Langley Councilmember Craig Cyr for his seat on the council this November.
“It certainly changes the campaign plan,” Cyr said. “I certainly plan to vigorously defend my seat, and I think the Langley electorate certainly believed in me and voted for me in 2019.”
Chaplin has served as the city’s mayor since 2021, when he similarly stepped forward at the last moment to fill a vacancy left by Tim Callison.
“I think it’s always tragic when there’s one candidate for the position,” Chaplin said.
He originally filed to run for a seat on the council in 2021 but gave that up to become mayor, which he said seemed like an easier path forward at that time since he didn’t have to run a campaign.
When he lived in Carbondale, Colorado, Chaplin served as a town trustee – a position similar to a city council member – for six years. In 2016, he unsuccessfully ran as a write-in candidate against former Rep. Norma Smith.
Cyr, on the other hand, unseated a Langley council member who had been on the council for eight years when he was elected in 2019.
Following through on a campaign promise to ban fireworks in the Village by the Sea, Cyr led the charge and sponsored an ordinance prohibiting pyrotechnics within city limits early in his term. After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Cyr drafted and co-sponsored an ordinance establishing the Dismantling Systemic Racism Advisory Group that was unanimously approved by the council.
“I think I have the backbone to call out other council members when need be or the mayor when they’re out of their lane,” he said, adding that a most recent example of this is when he questioned Chaplin’s focus on water efficiency goals, rather than storage of city records.
Though the recent decrease in salary may have played some part in Chaplin’s decision not to run for mayor, he said he’s looking forward to focusing on creating policy as a council member, rather than the administrative duties of mayor. In his role as a consultant, he believes that he’s had more experience working with local government groups than Cyr, who is a project manager in an avionics group at Boeing.
“My goal would be to make it so that any working parent could afford to pay for child care while they attended city council meetings,” Chaplin said, adding that the $125 per month that was just passed “doesn’t cut it.”