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WA: Why a sex offender would run for office: Willie Russell’s story

[ – 8/20/19]

Willie Russell is running for the Snohomish County Council this year. He squeaked through the August primary, and will face Stephanie Wright in November for Council position 3.

He is also a Level III sex offender. You can read the narrative from the sheriff’s office database here.

I recently spoke with Russell in an extended conversation. I wanted to ask him about his interest in running, and about his campaign. But, I was particularly interested in understanding why, with his background, he would be willing to put himself out there in the public domain.

My story is not a lot different from thousands of other people. Let’s start with the elephant in the room: my conviction.

Russell says he brought forward a complaint against then-Judge Gary Little and Pastor Donald Barnett of Community Chapel Bible Training Center. Both of whom, Russell says, were involved in the sexual abuse and misconduct of his children.

Read more


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I commend this many for his courage. He will get shamed and humiliated by his opponent as is the standard procedure in politics. But this is what it takes, to go public. Every oppressed group had to eventually stand up publicly and say no more, which inevitably causes a visceral reaction from those who want to keep them down. But this is what it will take. I hope I have the courage when my opportunity is presented.

Eric, I hope that I can help pray you forward when the opportunity comes. And it will! Many Blessings to you…

All RCs should move to the state with smallest population, and run for office.

What kind of a platform can a RC run on? The platform that stands on the RC might actually be the best one to use! Most problems are either a leadership issue or a systems issue. We have become victims of a bad system but that can also be said for most citizens in some form. We need to use that truth to fight back.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x