With five weeks left before the Nov. 7 election, candidates have reported raising about $275,000 for Bellingham and Whatcom County races.
About 81 percent of donations reported to the state Public Disclosure Commission are from individuals. Other donations came from businesses, unions, political action committees and parties.
In Bellingham, all voters can cast ballots for all district and at-large seats. All voters in the county can cast ballots for all Port of Bellingham races and the County Council at-large seat. Other County Council district representatives will be selected by voters in those districts.
Bellingham City Council
Ward 6 incumbent Michael Lilliquist faces Bellingham School Board member Quenby Peterson. Lilliquist has raised $6,125 and Peterson $336. Peterson has been out of town with a death in the family but will be back this week.
Eric Bostrom and Roxanne Murphy face each other for the at-large seat. Murphy has raised $10,244, with 46 percent coming from unions. Bostrom has raised $4,768, with $1,500 from local Republican organizations.
Whatcom County Council
In the 1st District, race, County Council member Rud Browne, who has raised $24,988, faces Philip Morgan, who is not required to disclose contributions as a “mini filer” who will raise and spend no more than $5,000.
In District 3, Rebecca Boonstra faces Tyler Byrd. Boonstra has raised $16,303, including $1,000 from Washington Conservation Voters, and Byrd $19,826, with almost 20 percent of contributions coming from businesses.
For the at-large seat, County Council member Barry Buchanan faces Mary Kay Robinson. Buchanan has raised $22,260 with support from unions and Washington Conservation Voters; Robinson has raised $29,920.
Port of Bellingham
Several county-wide candidate forums are planned before the election.
The Whatcom Business Alliance and other non-partisan organizations are hosting an election forum from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Meridian High School Auditorium, 194 W. Laurel Road. Candidates for Whatcom County Council and the Port of Bellingham will speak.
Sponsors of the forum include Whatcom County Association of Realtors, Whatcom Farm Bureau, Whatcom County Cattleman’s Association, Whatcom Family Farmers, Association of General Contractors, Builders’ Industry Association of Whatcom County, Common Threads Northwest, Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights, and The 4th Corner.
The Blue/Green Waterfront Coalition is sponsoring a Bellingham Port Commissioner Candidates Forum from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11, at Bellingham Public Library downstairs conference room at 210 Central Ave.
The Bellingham/Whatcom League of Women Voters and the City of Bellingham are also hosting four voter information forums on local candidates and ballot measures. The Bellingham Herald is the media partner for the events. All are at Bellingham City Council Chambers, 210 Lottie St. They are:
▪ Jail tax: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 14;
▪ Whatcom County Council districts 1, 2 and at-large, Bellingham schools: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 16;
▪ Port, Bellingham City Council at-large: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 21;
▪ Whatcom County Council districts 3 and at-large, Mt. Baker schools: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 23.
The percent of contributions from unions to Ken Bell was corrected Oct. 12, 2017.
The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, whatcomcounty.us/1728/Voters, has links to help you register to vote, get a ballot, find a ballot drop box and check if your ballot has been received.
Some dates to remember about the 2017 elections:
▪ Last day for registered voters to update their information for the general election is Oct. 9.
▪ General election ballots will be mailed Oct. 18.
▪ Last day for people new to the state to register to vote is Oct. 30.
▪ General election is Nov. 7.
See your districts online:
Whatcom County district changes
Voters approved ballot measures in 2016 that changed districts starting in 2017:
▪ There will be five districts, instead of three.
▪ There will be one representative elected from each district, rather than two.
▪ Only voters who live in a district will vote for their representative.
▪ All voters will vote for two at-large positions. Previously there was only one at-large position.
The districts are:
▪ District No. 1, South Bellingham;
▪ District No. 2, North Bellingham;
▪ District No. 3, Foothills – Chuckanut, Lake Samish, Lake Whatcom, Sudden Valley, and areas east of the Guide, including Van Zandt, Acme, Deming, Kendall, Maple Falls, Glacier;
▪ District 4, Farmlands – On the south end starting near Bellingham International Airport and west of Guide Meridian, Lynden, Everson, Nooksack, Sumas;
▪ District 5, Coastal – Lummi Island, Lummi Reservation, Ferndale, Birch Bay, Custer, Blaine, Point Roberts.