A first-time candidate and an Anacortes business owner are challenging incumbent Skagit County Commissioner Ron Wesen in the upcoming primary.

Wesen, who’s served since 2009 in this position as a Republican, is seeking a fourth term representing District 1 — the western portion of the county.

He anticipates having to make difficult cuts to county services as the county reckons with the impacts of COVID-19, and said leadership will need to find ways to do things more efficiently. He said local taxpayers can’t handle a bigger burden.

Mark Lundsten, a first-time candidate for elected office with three years of experience on the county Planning Commission, said he was motivated to run to counteract what he sees as a degradation in political discourse, encapsulated by the election of President Donald Trump.

He said a county confronted with the task of recovering from the pandemic will need leaders who aren’t afraid to think and act differently. He said they need to think about using existing funds in different ways because government will have a role in recovery.

The third candidate, John Archibald, did not respond to interview requests and has not submitted information to include in the county Voters Pamphlet.

Archibald owns Johnny Picasso’s cafe in Anacortes. He resigned from the Anacortes City Council in 2017, about three years into his first term, citing the need to focus on his business.

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