Progressives win all four Whatcom County Council races

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 7, 2013 

2013 elections

MCT

The needle barely moved after the latest Whatcom County vote count, released late Thursday, Nov. 7, which means a clean sweep for the four progressive County Council candidates.

With roughly 8,000 ballots left to count, the four candidates endorsed by the Democrats and linked to an anti-coal-terminal stance have won seats on the council.

Incumbent Carl Weimer led by 101/2 percentage points over planning commissioner Michelle Luke. Ken Mann, the other progressive incumbent, led Ben Elenbaas, another planning commissioner, by more than 7 points.

Two challengers on the same side of the political spectrum as Weimer and Mann will unseat incumbents.

Rud Browne, who had the narrowest lead, gained a little ground on Thursday and had a 6-point lead over incumbent Bill Knutzen.

Knutzen would need more than 70 percent of the remaining votes to catch up to Browne.

Barry Buchanan, a former Bellingham City Council member, will replace County Council Chairwoman Kathy Kershner. Buchanan also had a 6-point lead.

Kershner said on the phone Thursday evening that she hadn't thought about conceding yet.

"When all the votes are counted, and if Barry's ahead, he'll be the council member," Kershner said. "If there's not a huge swing, that's what's going to happen."

Buchanan wouldn't declare victory, saying he remained "cautiously optimistic," but with less caution after Thursday's results.

The next ballot count is scheduled to be released Friday afternoon.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics Blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

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