By Stefanie Donahue
Bellingham city councilmember Pinky Vargas announced that she will run for state senate in the 42nd legislative district, a position currently held by Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale).
“I’m running for senate because we need to move forward, work together on common interests and start helping our communities,” she said in a January 22 statement. “Opportunity needs to come to everyone in Whatcom County, and to get there we need to ensure our families have housing, jobs and a good public education.”
Vargas said she would prioritize clean air and water, quality education and fiscal responsibility if elected.
Currently serving Bellingham’s fourth ward on the city council, Vargas was elected in 2013 and 2017; she was appointed to council president in 2016. Vargas is also a senior business accounts manager at Puget Sound Energy (PSE). In 2017, she was awarded PSE’s “Energy Award” and was also nominated for Whatcom Professional Woman of the Year.
“Growing up in a farmhouse without running water until I was 10 years old, I understand the struggles of our rural community,” she said. “But we are sturdy people. We are the sons and daughters of homesteaders and pioneers, fishermen and farmers, tribes and immigrants. We’re home to mountains, rivers, businesses and industry. The diversity of our landscape, people and economy, make us special – and I’m ready to represent all of our communities.”
Earlier this month, Ericksen confirmed that he’d seek re-election after his term expires this year. He’s been re-elected nine times to his position serving the 42nd legislative district.