Meet the new prosecuting attorney

Adam Cornell of Edmonds is running unopposed
By Brandon Gustafson | Oct 31, 2018

Adam Cornell, a Democrat and 15-year deputy prosecuting attorney, is running unopposed for the four-year seat. Incumbent Mark Roe is retiring.

Although Cornell is assured a four-year term, the Beacon directed a couple of questions his way so voters could get to know him a little better.

Cornell is perhaps best known in Mukilteo for his work on the July 2016 shooting, where three Kamiak grads were shot and killed and a fourth was injured.

Roe has endorsed Cornell, along with former Govs. Christine Gregoire and Gary Locke, County Executive Dave Somers, Sheriff Ty Trenary and over two dozen other current and former elected and civic leaders.

They include Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, Mukilteo City Councilmember Sarah Kneller, Rep. Strom Peterson, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Sen. Marko Liias and former Mukilteo mayor and current Snohomish County Councilmember Brian Sullivan.

This is Cornell’s first run for public office after working on criminal cases in the county, as well as a stint as a special assistant U.S. attorney.

In 2015, he was one of 10 who applied to be named to Edmonds City Council after Peterson won a term in the Legislature. Councilmembers selected Mike Nelson over Cornell and eight other candidates.

You are running unopposed. But can you tell Snohomish County residents why you want to become Snohomish County’s next prosecuting attorney?

To give back to our community and honor the sacrifices of those who have given me so much.

Having served our community for 16 years as a criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney – and much longer as a community volunteer – I have the heart, character and skill to do the job. I have prosecuted all kinds of cases, including homicides, sexual assaults, hate crimes and theft and fraud against seniors.

Notably, I prosecuted the gunman in the 2016 Mukilteo mass shooting.

A childhood in foster care showed me the challenges facing at-risk kids and families and the instability that leads many into our criminal justice system. I have succeeded in my life because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. I feel a sacred obligation to give back.

What are the main issues that you see facing the county?

Keeping our community safe and livable for everyone. To do this, we need to address the opioid crisis fairly and firmly, work to stem the tide of gun violence by passing common-sense gun violence prevention legislation, and work to ensure that our police and prosecutors have sufficient resources to continue to hold criminals accountable for their conduct and to protect victims.

I am looking forward to working collaboratively with others to support inventive and cost-effective ways to bring justice to our community.

Is there a solution to the opioid crisis?

Opioids are ravaging our community.

The crisis is first and foremost a public health threat. A successful approach to ending the crisis will focus on prevention and treatment.

Prevention will focus on increasing participation in prescription drug take-backs, limiting the number of days doctors can prescribe opioids, and continuing to hold drug dealers accountable for their criminal conduct.

Treatment for low-level offenders will focus on expanding our alternative courts such as drug court and mental health court so that those who want to get better are given a second chance.



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