Democrats were showing strong support across three legislative races in Washington’s 42nd District, a traditionally conservative area of northern Whatcom County, in primary returns Tuesday night.
In one of Whatcom County’s most closely watched primary election races, incumbent Sen. Doug Ericksen and challenger Pinky Vargas were leading in the three-way contest for 42nd District state Senate.
Ericksen had 45.8 percent, Vargas had 28.99 percent, and Ballew had 25.22 percent in the first count of ballots, posted online about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.
A second count is due about 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Under Washington state’s top-two primary system, Ericksen and Vargas will advance to the Nov. 6 general election if their leads hold.
Ericksen, a Republican from Ferndale, has held the state Senate seat since 2010.
Vargas is a member of the Bellingham City Council and Ballew is a member of the Whatcom County Council. Both Vargas and Ballew were running as Democrats.
Looking toward November, the combined Democratic primary votes of Ballew and Vargas exceed Ericksen’s total in the heavily Republican area of north Bellingham and Whatcom County.
That pattern was holding in the 42nd District’s two House seats, as Democratic newcomer Sharon Shewmake was leading incumbent Republican Rep.Vincent Buys with a total of 52.51 percent to 47.49 percent.
Democratic challenger Justin Boneau was ahead of incumbent Republican Rep. Luanne Van Werven by 50.75 percent to 44.14 percent. Republican Dean Berkeley had 5.11 percent in the three-way race.
A total of 47,841 ballots had been returned by 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, which conducts local elections.
Some 139,750 Whatcom County residents were registered to vote in the primary.
Deadline for Washington’s vote-by-mail primary election was 8 p.m. Tuesday, meaning ballots had to be received in one of 18 drop boxes around the county or have a postmark before that time.
Late ballots aren’t counted.
Elections workers have been scanning ballots as they were received, but not tabulating the results, and were able to release returns just after the 8 p.m. Tuesday poll closing.
Under state law, all partisan races were on Tuesday’s primary ballot, regardless of the number of candidates for each post.
In another contested local race, Carol Frazey and Mike Peetoom were leading for a chance to fill an open one-year term on the Whatcom County Council.
Frazey had 42.5 percent of the vote to Peetoom’s 24.07 percent.
Although the race is non-partisan, Frazey was backed by Whatcom Democrats and Peetoom had the support of the county’s Republican Party.
Both Frazey and Peetoom are business owners and are seeking an at-large council position.
Candidates Eric Bostom, who received 14.66 percent of the vote, and Aaron Thomas, with 18.77 percent of the vote, will not advance to the general election.
In other races:
▪ In the bid to replace retiring Whatcom County Prosecutor Dave McEachran, Eric Richey was leading in early returns over James Erb, 57.98 percent to 42.02 percent.
Richey is Whatcom County’s chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney and Erb is Bellingham’s senior assistant city attorney. Both were running as Democrats. They will face each other again on the November ballot.
▪ In one of two 40th District state House elections, four Democrats and two Republicans were competing to replace retiring Rep. Kristine Lytton. Democrat Debra Lekanoff and Republican Michael Petrish were leading in early returns, with Lekanoff at 28.31 percent and Petrish at 20.08 percent. Democrat Rud Browne, a member of the Whatcom County Council, was third in the heavily Democratic district, holding 19.23 percent of the vote. Democrat Alex Ramel was fourth with 19.06 percent, Republican Daniel Miller had 6.68 percent, and Democrat Tom Pasma had 6.64 percent.
▪ Rep. Jeff Morris, who is unopposed for the other 40th District state House seat, had 17,138 votes.
▪ In the 1st District U.S. House race, Democratic incumbent Rep. Suzan DelBene leads with 60.21 percent of the vote in the district that stretches from Whatcom County south to King County. Republican challengers Jeffrey Beeler and Scott Stafne followed with 25.06 percent and 11.39 percent. Adam Pilskog and Robert Mair, who state no party preference, had 2.42 percent and 0.91 percent.
▪ In the 2nd District U.S. House race, Democratic incumbent Rep Rick Larsen leads with 66.25 percent. “Moderate GOP” candidate Uncle Mover was second with 7.61 percent, Independent Party candidate R. Gary Franco had 7.55 percent, Democrat Collin Richard Carlson had 7.48 percent, Libertarian Party candidate Brian Luke had 7.2 percent, and Green Party candidate Stonewall Jackson Bird had 3.9 percent.
▪ In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, leads all 28 challengers with 55.47 percent. Her closest opponent and likely November challenger is Republican Susan Hutchison, who had 23.83 percent of the vote.
▪ One judicial race was on Tuesday’s primary ballot, for the Court of Appeals Division 1, District 3, Judge Position 1. Tom SeGuine was leading with 28.1 percent, Cecily Hazelrigg-Hernandez was second with 23.21 percent, followed by Lisa Keeler with 23.19 percent, Rita Latsinova with 15.65 percent and Roger Leishman with 9.85 percent.
Here are the unofficial results of the Aug. 7, 2018, Whatcom County primary election, rounded to the nearest percentage point, not including write-ins.
Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney
|James Erb (D)||15,025||42%|
|Eric Richey (D)||20,734||58%|
County Council At-Large At-Large Position B
State Representative, 40th District, Position 1
|Rud Browne (D)||4,616||19%|
|Debra Lekanoff (D)||6,796||28%|
|Daniel Miller (R)||1,603||7%|
|Tom Pasma (D)||1,593||7%|
|Michael Petrish (R)||4,821||20%|
|Alex Ramel (D)||4,575||19%|
State Representative, 40th District, Position 2
|Jeff Morris (D)*||17,138||100%|
Legislative District 42 - State Senator
|Doug Ericksen (R)||12,847||46%|
|Tim Ballew II (D)||7,074||25%|
|Pinky Vargas (D)||8,132||29%|
State Representative, 42nd District, Position 1
|Dean Berkeley (R)||1,429||5%|
|Justin Boneau (D)||14,179||51%|
|Luanne Van Werven (R)*||12,331||44%|
State Representative, 42nd District, Position 2
|Vincent Buys (R)*||13,260||47%|
|Sharon Shewmake (D)||14,662||53%|
U.S. Representative, 1st District
|Jeffrey Beeler (R)||26,761||25%|
|Suzan DelBene (D)*||64,299||60%|
|Scott Stafne (R)||12,166||11%|
U.S. Representative, 2nd District
|Stonewall Jackson Bird (Stoney) (G)||3,718||4%|
|Collin Richard Carlson (D)||7,127||7%|
|Gary Franco (I)||7,202||8%|
|Rick Larsen (D)*||63,166||66%|
|Brian Luke (L)||6,869||7%|
|Thor Amundson (I)||5,633||1%|
|Dave Bryant (R)||20,038||2%|
|Jon Butler (I)||1,211||0%|
|Maria Cantwell (D)*||560,393||56%|
|Art Coday (R)||16,457||2%|
|James Robert "Jimmie" Deal (G)||2,187||0%|
|Jennifer Gigi Ferguson (I)||12,347||1%|
|Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente (R)||3,413||0%|
|Joey Gibson (R)||22,895||2%|
|Matt Hawkins (R)||7,660||1%|
|Matthew D. Heines (R)||4,907||0%|
|Susan Hutchison (R)||238,586||24%|
|Charlie R Jackson (I)||1,473||0%|
|George H. Kalberer (D)||1,579||0%|
|Mike Luke (L)||6,961||1%|
|John Orlinski (R)||4,076||0%|
|Tim Owen (R)||14,319||1%|
|Don L. Rivers (D)||7,073||1%|
|Mohammad Said (D)||4,990||1%|
|RC Smith (R)||1,374||0%|
|Glen R Stockwell (R)||7,437||1%|
|Dave Strider (I)||3,930||0%|
|Keith Swank (R)||23,335||2%|
|Clint R. Tannehill (D)||19,582||2%|
Court of Appeals, Division 1, District 3 - Judge Position 1
Sources: Washington Secretary of State, Whatcom County Auditor's Office