Local Election

What you need to know before voting for Whatcom County Council at-large candidates

David Ramirez is challenging Carol Frazey for the at-large, position B, seat she holds on the Whatcom County Council.

In the primary, Frazey received 57% of the vote, Ramirez had 29%. Bill LaFreniere had 7% and Brett Bonner, who stopped his campaign, had 6%.

Voters approved ballot measures in 2016 that changed districts starting in 2017 that created five districts with one representative elected from each district and two at-large positions elected by voters countywide.

Frazey was elected to a partial term in the seat in November 2018, defeating Mike Peetoom 59% to 41%.

The non-partisan, part-time position pays $31,867 annually during the four-year term. That rate rises to $35,802 in 2020 and $40,180 in 2021, according to the Whatcom County Salary Commission.

General election ballots will be mailed Oct. 18. Ballots don’t need a stamp but must be postmarked by Election Day. Ballot drop boxes open Oct. 18 and close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 5.

These are the candidates for the at-large Whatcom County Council position:

Carol Frazey

Frazey, 50, is a member of the Whatcom County Council and president of Fit School Inc. an online coaching site for women runners that also offers in-person classes and coaching.

Bio: Married with two children, one at Sehome High and the other at the University of Washington, she and her husband have lived in Whatcom County for two decades. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Penn State University and a master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Colorado. Frazey is a past board member of the Whatcom County Childhood Obesity Task Force, Run Like a Girl, and Assumption Catholic Church Pastoral Care Commission. Frazey serves on the County Council’s Finance and Administrative Services, Criminal Justice and Public Safety, and Public Works and Health committees. She is a member of the Business and Commerce Advisory Committee, Council of Governments, Intergovernmental Tribal Relations Committee, and Northwest Regional Council.

Neighborhood: Whatcom Falls in Bellingham.

Funds raised: $13,032 through Sept. 23 2019, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.

Funds spent: $5,572 through Sept. 23, 2019.

Largest contributors: Frazey received $1,000 from the Nooksack Indian Tribe, $950 from the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 106 and $1,832 in kind from the Washington State Democrats.

An issue of personal interest to her: “I have two teenagers and a husband. And if we had the income we do now, we wouldn’t be able to afford this house if we had to buy it right now,” Frazey said. “And I know I’m not experiencing that now, but it really gives me empathy for those families that are starting out not able to buy a home.”

What trait makes her uniquely suited for this position: Frazey said she prefers to spend her time on the council listening more than speaking. “I do not talk much and really spend a lot of time listening,” Frazey said. “I really spend a lot of time listening and making sure I am getting the best possible information from people who aren’t usually heard from.”

Endorsements: “She’s on the council. She’s a business owner. [Frazey] is one of those ones our members look at and think ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,’” says Jamie Douglass, chair of the 42nd Legislative District Democrats.

Other endorsements: Riveters Collective; Whatcom Democrats; Bellingham/Whatcom County Professional Firefighters.

Website: Vote Carol Frazey on Facebook.

David Ramirez

Ramirez, 47, is district manager for Clean Harbors Environmental Services.

Bio: He is married with nine children and four grandchildren. He was born in Washington and lived in several areas of the state before settling in Bellingham in 2012. He studied environmental management and chemistry at Brigham Young University. Ramirez volunteers with the Boy Scouts and has served as a Scout leader for nearly 30 years. He has served as treasurer and board president of Whatcom Family Community Network to support children, youth and families.

Neighborhood: Everson.

Funds raised: $2,791 through Sept. 21, 2019, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.

Funds spent: $782 through Sept 21, 2019.

Largest Contributions: Ramirez received $1,000 from Phillips 66 Company.

An issue of personal interest to him: Ramirez said he came to Whatcom County both because of its beauty and its job market. “...So with the moratorium and the comp plan, I think that affects me personally because if those jobs were to slow down or go away that would affect me living in this county.” Ramirez also said his daughter and her family recently left Whatcom County to find work.

What trait makes him uniquely suited for this position: ”I always say that my hobby is volunteering, and I have spent a lot of that free time of mine to serve the community, and I definitely believe that servant leadership is important,” Ramirez said. “Just because someone votes for us, doesn’t mean that we have all the answers. But we’re willing to serve the community, take what they have to say and apply it in such a way that it’s gonna affect the county in a positive way. “

Endorsements: Republican Party; Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis; Sumas Mayor Kyle Christensen; Everson Mayor John Perry; Whatcom County Association of Realtors

Website: David Ramirez for County Council on Facebook.

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Warren Sterling in a graduate of Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. He interned at Politifact.com before joining The Bellingham Herald as a summer 2019 intern.
Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.