Local Election

Marking your ballot? Here’s who is running in major Whatcom County races

Ballots for the general election are due by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5. You don’t need a stamp, but ballots must be postmarked — not just mailed — by the deadline. You can also place your ballot in one of 18 drop boxes by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

If you haven’t received a ballot, you can still go to the Auditor’s Office in the County Courthouse at 311 Grand Ave., or call 360-778-5102 or email elections@co.whatcom.wa.us to get one.

More than 13% of the potential 146,578 ballots had been received by Oct. 29, meaning about 125,000 are still out.

For those about to mark their ballot, here’s a round-up of candidate information and endorsements from earlier Bellingham Herald stories and campaign financing from the state’s Public Disclosure Commission website.

Whatcom County Executive

Tony Larson is running against County Council member Satpal Sidhu in the Nov. 5 general election after they were the finalists in the August primary, where the top two candidates advance. Larson, who served a one-year appointment on the Whatcom County Council in 2010, edged Sidhu 37% to 34% in a four-way primary race.

Larson

Endorsements include: Current County Executive Jack Louws, who is leaving office after eight years, the Whatcom Republicans, Whatcom County Farm Bureau, Whatcom County Association of Realtors, the mayors of Blaine, Lynden, Everson, Nooksack and Sumas.

Campaign funding: Raised $165,756; spent $135,131, as of Oct. 29. Also, $8,519 in expenditures made by third parties without the candidate’s approval or collaboration. That includes $8,519 in support from the Coalition for a Better Northwest Washington political action committee. Its major donor is Phillips 66 Company.

Website: votetonylarson.com.

Sidhu

Endorsements include: Primary candidates Karen Burke and Jim Boyle, who drew a combined 29% of the countywide vote in August, both endorsed Sidhu. He’s also endorsed by the Riveters Collective, the Whatcom Democrats, the 42nd District Democrats, Washington Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Teamsters local 231.

Campaign funding: Raised $180,544; spent $112,675, as of Oct. 29. Also, $6,305 in expenditures made by third parties without the candidate’s approval or collaboration. That includes $6,009 in support from the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund political action committee. Its major donor is the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund and its largest donor in 2018 was Michael Bloomberg, according to opensecrets.org. The Coalition for a Better Northwest Washington political action committee spent $67,753 in opposition to Sidhu. Its major donor is Phillips 66 Company.

Website: votesatpalsidhu.com.

Whatcom County Sheriff

Sheriff Bill Elfo is facing an election challenge, for only the second time in more than 15 years, from Joy Gilfilen, president of the Restorative Community Coalition.

Elfo

Endorsements include: Whatcom Republicans, the Lummi Nation Business Council, the Whatcom County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild, the Bellingham Police Guild, the Washington State Patrol Trooper’s Association, Bellingham/Whatcom Firefighters IAFF Local 106, every member of the Whatcom County Council and Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws.

Campaign funding: Raised $33,794; campaign balance $15,430; spent $41,366, as of Oct. 29.

Website: sheriffelfo.com.

Gilfilen

Endorsements include: 42 Legislative District Democrats, National Women’s Political Caucus and the Whatcom County Democratic Women’s Club.

Campaign funding: Raised $11,926; loans $1,582; spent $11,300, as of Oct. 29.

Website: joyforsheriff.com.

Young_ElfoGifilen02.jpg
Bill Elfo, left, and Joy Gifilen are running for Whatcom County Sheriff in the general election on Nov. 5. Bill Elfo, Joy Gifilen Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Mayor

Former Bellingham and Whatcom councils member Seth Fleetwood is running against City Council member April Barker for Bellingham mayor in the Nov. 5 general election after they were the finalists in the August primary, where the top two candidates advance. Fleetwood edged Barker 29% to 27% in the four-way race.

Barker

Endorsements include: Bellingham Tenants Union, Lummi Nation, the Riveters Collective, NARAL Washington, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Washington Conservation Voters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Washington Bikes.

Campaign funding: Raised $80,113; spent $79,134, as of Oct. 29.

Website: aprilbarker.com.

Fleetwood

Endorsements include: Firefighters union, Bellingham Police Guild, the Sierra Club, the 42nd District Democrats and Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville — as well as former mayors Dan Pike, Mark Asmundson and Ken Hertz.

Campaign funding: Raised $70,166; spent $63,691, as of Oct. 29.

Website: sethfleetwood.com.

Port of Bellingham, District 3

Incumbent Bobby Briscoe and Anthony Distefano are running for the Port of Bellingham, District 3 position. The nonpartisan office has a huge influence in shaping the future of Whatcom County, including the port, fiber optic cable in rural areas and the waterfront district.

Briscoe

Endorsements include: Whatcom Commercial Fishermen’s Association-WCFA; IAFF 106 Bellingham/Whatcom County Firefighters Association; ILWU International Longshore & Warehouse Union Teamsters; Northwest Washington Central Labor Council; Whatcom County Association of Realtors; Lummi Indian Business Council; Washington Farm Bureau.

Campaign funding: Raised $16,375; spent $12,208, as of Oct. 29.

Website: Briscoeforport.com.

Distefano

Campaign funding: Raised $5,390; spent $6,416, as of Oct. 29.

Facebook page: AnthonyDistefanoForPort.

40th District state Senate

State Sen. Liz Lovelett, an Anacortes Democrat, will be defending her 40th Legislative District seat against Daniel Miller in a confirmation vote that’s required because she was appointed to the post in February. She replaced Kevin Ranker who resigned in January amid sexual harassment allegations.

Lovett

Endorsements: 40th Legislative District Democrats, Washington State Labor Council, Washington Education Association, SEIU Healthcare 1999 and 925, Anacortes Firefighters IAFF Local 1537, National Women’s Political Caucus, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Campaign funding: Raised $116,285; spent $95,288, as of Oct. 29. Also, $76,158 in expenditures made by third parties without the candidate’s approval or collaboration. That includes $75,651 in support from the New Direction political action committee. Its major donor is the Service Employees International Union Washington State Council political action committee.

Website: LizLovelett.org, Sen. Liz Lovelett, and Liz Lovelett for Senate on Facebook.

Miller

Before the primary, the Republican parties of San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties wrote that they have never endorsed Miller for any public office. In a July 22 press release, they stated “Daniel Miller has been thoroughly vetted; he does not meet the criteria of the Republican Party.”

Campaign funding: Selected the “mini-reporting option” that exempts candidates from filing campaign finance reports if they don’t exceed $5,000 in contributions and take no individual donations greater than $500.

Whatcom County Council District 4

Kathy Kershner and Brian Estes are running for the open Whatcom County Council District 4, a new region that’s mostly been represented by Barbara Brenner since she was elected in 1991. Brenner isn’t running for re-election after nearly three decades on the council.

Estes

Endorsements: Whatcom Democrats; 42nd Legislative District Democrats; Washington Conservation Voters; state Rep. Sharon Shewmake, D-Bellingham; and Whatcom County council members Carol Frazey and Satpal Sidhu.

Campaign funding: Raised $10,781; spent $22,000 as of Oct. 29. The candidate also loaned his campaign $12,000.

Website: Vote Brian Estes on Facebook.

Kershner

Endorsements: Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis, Everson Mayor John Perry, Sumas Mayor Kyle Christensen, Blaine Mayor Bonnie Onyon, Ferndale Mayor Jon Mutchler, Nooksack Mayor Jim Ackerman, Whatcom County Fire District 7 Firefighters, Whatcom County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild, and the Whatcom County Republican Party.

Campaign funding: Raised $42,483; spent $30,522, as of Oct. 29.

Website: Vote Kathy Kershner on Facebook.

Whatcom County Council District 5

Ben Elenbaas and Natalie McClendon are running in the Nov. 5 general election for the open Whatcom County Council District 5, the newly drawn Coast District.

Elenbaas

Endorsements: Whatcom County Fire District 7 firefighters; Whatcom County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild; Washington Laborers Union Local 292; mayors of Ferndale, Blaine, Lynden, Everson, Nooksack and Sumas.

Campaign funding: Raised $43,711; spent $39,542, as of Oct. 29. The candidate also loaned his campaign $3,000. Also, $16,354 in expenditures made by third parties without the candidate’s approval or collaboration. That includes $12,000 in support from the Washington Realtors Political Action Committee. Its major donor is the National Association of Realtors. Also, $4,354 in support from the Coalition for a Better Northwest Washington political action committee. Its major donor is Phillips 66 Company.

Website: Ben Elenbaas for County Council on Facebook.

McClendon

Endorsements: Sierra Club, Whatcom County Port Commissioner Bobby Briscoe, Whatcom County Councilman Todd Donovan, Lummi Indian Business Councilman Henry Cagey.

Campaign funding: Raised $34,677; spent $25,743, as of Oct. 29. Also, $26,310 in expenditures made by third parties without the candidate’s approval or collaboration. That includes $26,009 in support from the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund. Its major donor is the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund and its largest donor in 2018 was Michael Bloomberg, according to opensecrets.org.

Website: NatalieMcClendon.com, Natalie McClendon for Whatcom County Council on Facebook.

Whatcom County Council At-Large, Position B

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

Frazey

Endorsements: 42nd Legislative District Democrats, Riveters Collective; Whatcom Democrats; Bellingham/Whatcom County Professional Firefighters.

Campaign funding: Raised $20,851; campaign balance $2,869; spent $14,778, as of Oct. 29. Also, $6,305 in expenditures made by third parties without the candidate’s approval or collaboration. That includes $6,009 in support from the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund. Its major donor is the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund and its largest donor in 2018 was Michael Bloomberg, according to opensecrets.org.

Website: Vote Carol Frazey on Facebook.

Ramirez

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

Campaign funding: Raised $7,526; spent $782, as of Oct. 29.

Website: David Ramirez for County Council on Facebook.

Bellingham City Council Ward 1

Bellingham City Council member Hannah Stone is running against Elizabeth Hartsoch, a co-founder of the Riveters Collective, a progressive political group that formed after the 2016 presidential election, for the Bellingham City Council Ward 1 seat. Stone was appointed to the council in October 2018 to fill the vacant at-large seat, but is now running for the Ward 1 seat.

Hartsoch

Endorsements: 42nd District state Rep. Sharon Shewmake, D-Bellingham, says “I think she is data-driven and is gonna fix the problems everyone wants fixed.” Shewmake also mentioned Hartsoch’s commitment to safe bicycle infrastructure as a reason for her endorsement. Hartsoch is also endorsed by Whatcom County Council member Carol Frazey, former Council member Tim Ballew II and the Riveters Collective.

Campaign funding: Raised $16,708; spent $14,896, as of Oct. 29.

Website: Beth for Bellingham on Facebook.

Stone

Endorsements: Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, Western Washington University Professor of Political Science Vernon Damani Johnson, the Sierra Club and the Riveters Collective.

Campaign funding: Raised $18,133; spent $14,406, as of Oct. 29.

Website: Vote Hannah Stone on Facebook.

Bellingham City Council Ward 3

Daniel Hammill is running for a second full term representing Bellingham City Council Ward 3. Challenging him in the Nov. 5 general election is Ashanti Monts-Tréviska.

Hammill

Endorsements: Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville; Whatcom County Prosecutor Eric Richey; Sierra Club, Riveters Collective; Whatcom County Council member Barry Buchanan; Whatcom Women Democrats.

Campaign funding: Raised $5,290; spent $5,357, as of Oct. 29.

Website: People to Elect Dan Hammill on Facebook.

Monts-Treviska

Endorsements: Riveters Collective, Bellingham Deaf and Disability Justice Collective and National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington.

Campaign funding: Selected the “mini-reporting option” that exempts candidates from filing campaign finance reports if they don’t exceed $5,000 in contributions and take no individual donations greater than $500.

Website: Ashanti Monts-Tréviska for City Council on Facebook.

Bellingham City Council Ward 5

Two residents are seeking to replace Ward 5 Bellingham City Council member Terry Bornemann, who is leaving the council after nearly 20 years. Lisa Anderson is a member of the Planning Commission and was a finalist for the at-large position now held by Hannah Stone. Chanan Suarez is a decorated Iraq War veteran and calls himself a Democratic Socialist.

Anderson

Endorsements: Mount Baker Sierra Club, Bellingham Police Guild, National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, Bellingham City Council members Terry Bornemann and Gene Knutson, former City Council member Louise Bjornson.

Campaign funding: Raised $15,231; spent $15,540, as of Oct. 29.

Website: Lisa Anderson for Bellingham City Council Ward 5 on Facebook.

Suarez

Endorsements: Riveters Collective, Whatcom County Democratic Socialists of America, Service Employees International Union 1199 NW, Lummi Indian Business Council.

Campaign funding: Raised $13,027; spent $12,144, as of Oct. 29.

Website: Chanan Suarez for Bellingham City Council on Facebook.

Bellingham City Council At-Large

Both candidates running for the at-large City Council seat are concerned about housing affordability. Dana Briggs, who is homeless despite having a job, has advocated for homeless people and Hollie Huthman is concerned people are being priced out of Bellingham.

Briggs

Campaign funding: Selected the “mini-reporting option” that exempts candidates from filing campaign finance reports if they don’t exceed $5,000 in contributions and take no individual donations greater than $500.

Website: Dana Briggs for City Council on Facebook.

Huthman

Endorsements: Sierra Club, 42nd District Democrats, Riveters Collective.

Campaign funding: Raised $7,222; spent $5,862, as of Oct. 29.

Website: Vote Hollie Huthman on Facebook.

Follow more of our reporting on News and information for voters in Whatcom County

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Julie Shirley directs news coverage for The Bellingham Herald and has been the executive editor since 2003. She’s been an editor in Florida, California and Washington since 1979.
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