Politics Blog

Brenner says she will seek re-election to Whatcom council

Barbara Brenner broke with tradition to announce early that she will run for re-election to the Whatcom County Council.

Brenner called this blogger late Friday afternoon, April 24, from her County Council office, within sight of an ominous thundercloud.

For the superstitious, it’s hard to know what that cloud might have portended. Brenner has breezed through most of her long election career, winning without raising a significant campaign fund. (Brenner hasn’t filed under the full reporting requirements in recent elections with the Public Disclosure Commission, which indicates she is raising less than $5,000 in funds — a pittance by today’s standards in Whatcom council races. Brenner does file paperwork with the state PDC to indicate she is running with the intention to raise less than $5,000.)

Brenner has been a council member since 1992. She seeks her seventh consecutive term in that seat.

She said earlier this year that she makes a point of not announcing her run for office before filing with the county Auditor’s Office to be on the ballot. She has an aversion to the recent trend of long, drawn-out campaigns, she said. This year, filing week is May 11-15. Brenner said on Friday she decided to announce early because she had been getting a lot of inquiring phone calls.

Brenner defies political categorization and is probably best described as being highly responsive to the requests of citizens who come to her with concerns. This blogger suspects that’s why she’s so popular with the electorate.

Political blogger Riley Sweeney came up with an inspired metaphor, calling Brenner “the kiwi to our Whatcom County fruit salad.”

It remains to be seen whether anyone in District 3 will step up to run against her. One likely candidate, Blaine City Council member Bonnie Onyon, has expressly stated she will not challenge Brenner.

A Clarification to Barbara Brenner’s reporting status with the Public Disclosure Commission was added Monday, April 27, in bold, itcalicized text.