Fleetwood plans to challenge Ericksen for state Senate


BELLINGHAM - Seth Fleetwood has announced plans to run against Republican state Sen. Doug Ericksen for the 42nd District seat, setting up a lively race between two well-known political figures.

Fleetwood, an attorney, served on the Whatcom County Council for eight years. After that, he served four years as at-large member of the Bellingham City Council before leaving office at the end of 2013.

Ericksen, a Ferndale Republican, served as chairman of the Senate's Energy, Environment and Telecommunications subcommittee in the last legislative session. He was elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving six terms in the House.

The 42nd District covers all of Whatcom County except south Bellingham and the southwest corner of the county.

The Republicans had effective control of the Senate in the last session, after two Democrats agreed to join them in a coalition and vote with Republicans on most significant matters. Democrats controlled the House.

Fleetwood said that situation was part of what motivated him to mount a Democratic challenge to Ericksen.

"I want to help end gridlock in Olympia," Fleetwood said. "I want to help restore a working, productive majority in the state Senate."

Fleetwood mentioned clean energy, environmental protection and education funding among his key concerns.

He said he has lined up significant political support in advance of his announcement.

Official candidate filing is May 12-16. The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 5, and the general election is Nov. 4.

Reach John Stark at 360-715-2274 or john.stark@bellinghamherald.com . Read the Politics Blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhampolitics.

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