Three Whatcom County residents are competing in the August primary for the state Senate seat that represents northern Bellingham and most of Whatcom County.
Incumbent State Sen. Doug Ericksen is facing two opponents who hold official posts in Bellingham and Whatcom County for the four-year term.
Ericksen, a Ferndale Republican, is being challenged by two Democrats — Bellingham council member Pinky Vargas and Whatcom County council member Timothy Ballew II.
A one-week filing period for the seat opened Monday and closed at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Under Washington election law, the two candidates who receive the most votes in the Aug. 7 primary — regardless of party affiliation — will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
Ericksen has served in the state Legislature since 1998, when he was elected to the first of six two-year terms in the state House. He was elected to the Senate in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
Vargas represents the 4th Ward of Bellingham, the eastern part of the city that includes the neighborhoods of Whatcom Falls, Alabama Hill, Silver Beach and part of Roosevelt. Vargas, who just started her second four-year term, is an account manager for Puget Sound Energy.
Ballew was appointed to the Whatcom County Council to fill a vacant position and his term expires in November. Ballew, a former chairman of Lummi Nation, is a commercial fisherman.
As of Monday, Ballew had raised $42,861.89 for his campaign and Vargas had raised $42,230.33, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Ericksen has raised $48,645.10.
A third Democratic candidate, former Port of Bellingham commissioner Michael McAuley, raised $6,488.20 starting in July 2017, according to the PDC, but he didn't file for candidacy.
McAuley said Friday that he's returning the money that he collected for his campaign and is throwing his support behind Ballew.
Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney: Incumbent David S. McEachran is retiring after nearly 47 years in office. Eric Richey of Bellingham and James Erb of Bellingham, both Democrats, have filed to run for the four-year term in the partisan race.
District Court Judge Position 1: Incumbent David Grant of Bellingham is unchallenged for the four-year term in the non-partisan race.
District Court Judge Position 2: Incumbent Matt Elich of Bellingham is unchallenged for the four-year term in the non-partisan race.
County Council At-Large Position B: With appointed incumbent Ballew running for state Senate, candidates for the one-year, unexpired term for the non-partisan position created by the change in council districts are Eric Bostrom of Bellingham, Carol Frazey of Bellingham, Aaron Thomas of Ferndale and Mike Peetoom of Custer.
Public Utility District 1, Commissioner District 2: Incumbent Paul D. Kenner of Lynden is challenged by Atul Dushmane of Bellingham for the six-year term in the non-partisan race.
1st Congressional District: Incumbent Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, is challenged by Republicans Jeffrey Beeler of Sultan and Scott Stafne of Arlington and independents Robert Mair of Redmond and Adam Pilskog of Monroe for the two-year term in the partisan race. The district includes parts of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and King counties.
2nd Congressional District: Incumbent Rick Larsen, D-Everett, is challenged for the two-year term in the partisan race by Brian Luke, L-Lynnwood; Collin Richard Carlson, D-Marysville; Uncle Mover, R-Mill Creek; Gary Franco, I-Lopez Island; and Stonewall Jackson Bird, G-Bellingham. The district includes Island and San Juan counties and parts of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.
40th Legislative District, State Representative Pos. 1: Incumbent Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, is retiring. Running for the two-year term for the open, partisan seat are Democrats Rud Brown of Bellingham, Alex Ramel of Bellingham, Debra Lekanoff of Bow, Tom Pasma of Burlington and Republicans Michael Petrish of Anacortes and Daniel Miller of Friday Harbor. The district includes south Bellingham, southwest Whatcom County, San Juan County and part of Skagit County.
40th Legislative District, State Representative Pos. 2: Incumbent Jeff Morris, D, Anacortes, is unchallenged for the two-year term in the partisan race.
42nd Legislative District, State Representative Pos. 1: Incumbent Luanne Van Werven, R, Lynden, is challenged for the two-year term in the partisan race by Justin Boneau, D-Bellingham, and Dean Berkeley, R-Blaine. The district includes north Bellingham and most of Whatcom County.
42nd Legislative District, State Representative Pos. 2: Incumbent Vincent Buys, R, Lynden, is challenged for the two-year term in the partisan race by Sharon Shewmake, D-Bellingham.