COUPEVILLE – Marie Shimada today entered the Island County Commissioner District 1 race, currently held by Melanie Bacon.

“I grew up in a family rooted in service. Both of my grandfathers served in the South Pacific during WWII. My mom has spent her career in healthcare and my dad is a volunteer firefighter/EMT in South Whidbey. We learned from a young age to care for others and your community,” Shimada said. “I am running for Island County Commissioner because I believe local government is a powerful force for good in people’s lives and we need to build a future with thriving local businesses, housing people can afford, and a strong climate resiliency plan.” 

Shimada serves as the Reserve Manager to the nation’s first and one-of-its-kind National Historical Reserve in Coupeville. She works with government officials, business owners, farmers and citizens to protect and preserve our unique environment and community. 

“I do not believe that local politics should be a one-party or one-issue place” she said. “Instead, I believe our county-level officials should advocate for the needs and wants of our entire community to improve our quality of life.” 

Shimada, a Democrat, is honored to announce this campaign with the support of former Island County Commissioner and dedicated community leader Helen Price Johnson. 

“Marie is the leader we need to help usher in our future. She understands how special our community is, and she has a vision to move all of us forward. Marie will focus on economic development and supporting our small businesses while also investing in more housing that working families can afford. I enthusiastically endorse her campaign for Island County Commissioner,” Price Johnson said. 

Shimada’s family moved to Whidbey during her childhood, permanently residing at the end of a historic road in Clinton. Shimada attended South Whidbey Elementary, Langley Middle School, and South Whidbey High School. She was awarded a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, and holds a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. 

Seeking a life outside of the traditional legal industry, Shimada spent her early career in nonprofit fundraising before she worked her way into an executive director role in the nonprofit sector. Shimada serves on the boards of the Economic Development Council of Island County and the Maritime WA National Heritage Area and volunteers with Embrace Whidbey & Camano Islands, encouraging regenerative tourism to our area, and the Agricultural Resources Committee of Island County. 

Today Marie lives with her partner Cody Haynes in Freeland. In between work and serving our community, you’ll find Marie enjoying farm adventures with her dogs and horses.