Politics Blog

Blaine council member Onyon won’t seek Whatcom council seat

Although her name has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Barbara Brenner in this year’s Whatcom County Council elections, Blaine City Council member Bonnie Onyon says definitively she will not run for office.

“There’s been some discussions around and about, about me running,” Onyon said late Friday afternoon, March 27, in a phone interview. “I had been giving it some thought, and that’s how (my name) got out there.”

“I have decided not to.”

A Bellingham resident on Thursday, March 26, received a phone call from a pollster asking who he would choose in a race between Brenner and Onyon. The same caller also asked him about a hypothetical race between Satpal Sidhu and Kathy Kershner for the seat recently vacated by Sam Crawford. The council appointed Sidhu over Kershner and a third applicant, Jim Cozad, on March 17.

Neither Sidhu nor Kershner have officially announced their intent to run for the District 2 seat, although Sidhu has expressed interest and Kershner is considering it. Brenner also has not announced whether she will seek re-election in her District 3 seat, which she has held since 1992. She said she never announces before filing week, which this year is May 11-15.

While Sidhu vs. Kershner could be characterized as a Democrat vs. a Republican — Sidhu ran as a Democrat for state office last year, and Kershner is a former Republican officer — the imagined but not-to-be Onyon vs. Brenner race suggests people on the right are considering challenging the eclectic Brenner, who doesn’t wear a distinct political stripe.

Onyon endorsed Ferndale Republican Doug Ericksen in his re-election bid for state Senate last year, and she co-authored a pro-Gateway Pacific Terminal op-ed for The Bellingham Herald, with Ferndale council member Brent Goodrich, in 2013.

Contacted by phone today, Friday, March 27, Whatcom Republican Chairman Charlie Crabtree said he was not aware of the pollster calling voters or of Onyon’s interest in running. He said Onyon has not been active in party operations.

As for why Onyon chose not to run for County Council, she said she recently retired and is looking forward to traveling. She has two years remaining in her term on the Blaine council, and she wants to finish that.

“The timing is not right with me,” she said.