Lummi Nation has rewarded Bill Knutzen for a good working relationship by endorsing him in the race for state representative in north Whatcom County.
The Lummi Indian Business Council praised Knutzen in the letter for "respect for all cultures and proven ability to work in a bipartisan manner."
"While we may not have agreed on every detail of every project, there was mutual respect on both sides of the negotiating table. Your ongoing efforts to bring disparate voices together from across our community to develop solutions that protect both the environment and agriculture are laudable, as is your service on the Puget Sound Partnership," the letter said.
To endorse Knutzen, the Lummis, whose environmental interests often more closely align with the Democratic Party, passed over Satpal Sidhu, the Democratic candidate for that House seat. Luanne Van Werven, another Republican, is also running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-Lynden. Libertarian candidate Nick Kunkel is also on the ballot.
"Some people may be surprised that I received this endorsement because of a preconceived notion of who I am," Knutzen wrote in a press release received Sunday, July 20, from his campaign. "However, I believe it’s a perfect example of how I successfully developed effective working relationships with a variety of groups throughout the county during my tenure on the County Council."
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Republicans may be looking for a copy editor.
Republican organizer and donor Dusty Gulleson of Bellingham sent an emailed invitation to a fundraising event he is co-hosting for Van Werven.
The headline that grabs your eye says, "Our family's, future's, farm's and livelihood depend on good leaders representing us."
Gulleson appreciated the humor I saw in this grammar failure.
"I did that email on a sleep-deprived flight back from the East Coast," said Gulleson, who owns a business based in Virginia.
He also took the opportunity to take a jab at the Democrats -- especially since we are taking the opportunity to poke fun at his grammar skills.
(More funding needed for K-12 grammar education, perhaps?)
"It was the Democrats who could use fresh leadership since under their leadership for the majority of the last 30 years they underfunded education and have dropout rates that are atrocious," Gulleson wrote.
Sidhu, the Democratic candidate, called education his most important issue.
"Education is a great equalizer in the society," said Sidhu, who came to the United States to work in 1986.
Sidhu believes in the effectiveness of the public-education system but notes there is room for improvement.
"We need to rethink how we are educating. I think money is an answer, but I think money is one component of the answer.
"Where are we getting the best return for our money, and how should we spend this money?" Sidhu said.
The Van Werven fundraiser is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, at Lairmont Manor, 405 Fieldston Road, Bellingham. Tony Larson is co-hosting with Gulleson. Van Werven will be there, as will House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen of Snohomish.