By Jami Makan
Following a switch in lead, Satpal Sidhu is now ahead in the race for Whatcom County executive and has declared victory against opponent Tony Larson.
When initial election results were released shortly after 8 p.m. on election day, Sidhu trailed Larson by 61 votes. The following day, November 6, a dramatic development saw Sidhu pull ahead of Larson by 163 votes.
Sidhu has since increased his lead, according to the latest counts released by the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. As of November 13, Sidhu had received 41,043 votes (51.1%), 1,823 more votes than Larson’s 39,220 votes (48.8%).
At that time, the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office had an estimated 76 ballots in their office left to count, although this figure did not include ballots that had not yet been received. “Ballot signature cures and overseas ballots are not included and can be received up until the day before certification,” according to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office website.
On November 8, Sidhu declared victory over Larson. “It is a great honor and privilege to have earned the trust of the voters of Whatcom County,” he said. “During this campaign, I had the opportunity to speak with thousands of people from all corners of the county and listen to their concerns. It was a valuable learning experience and I will bring that with me to this office.”
Asked for a comment from Larson, the All Point Bulletin did not receive a response. To date, Larson has not conceded defeat publicly.
Sidhu, whose four-year term as executive will begin in January, stated that he has already been in touch with outgoing executive Jack Louws. “Mr. Louws has already reached out to me, and we will be meeting in the near future,” read Sidhu’s statement. “I am putting together a highly qualified transition team to ensure a smooth handover, and I will be ready to lead from day one.”
In another switch in lead, Whatcom County assessor candidate Rebecca Xczar pulled ahead of opponent John Romaker. On election night, Xczar had been trailing Romaker by 729 votes. As of November 13, however, Xczar had received 37,078 votes (50.8%), 1,385 more votes than Romaker’s 35,693 votes (48.9%).
Closer to home, sitting Point Roberts parks commissioner Bennett Blaustein came from behind on election night and now has 215 votes (51.7%) versus opponent Hugh Wilson’s 200 votes (48.1%).
The Whatcom County Canvassing Board will certify the results of the election on Tuesday, November 26. For the most up-to-date tallies, visit results.vote.wa.gov/results/current/whatcom.