The August primary is shaping up to be a competitive election as several candidates are vying for sought-after seats in Blaine City Council and Whatcom County Council.
Filing week started May 17 and wrapped up May 21 with 157 candidates running for 99 offices, including Blaine City Council, Whatcom County Council, Blaine school board, Port of Bellingham, Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2) and Fire Protection District 21, also known as North Whatcom Fire and Rescue.
Not all seats were in as demand as others, forcing the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office to create a three-day filing period on May 26 through Friday, May 28 for offices where no candidate filed.
Blaine City Council
Four seats are up on Blaine City Council. Kerena Higgins and Calvin Armerding are running for the Ward 1 Position 2 seat currently held by mayor Bonnie Onyon, who will not be running again for city council.
Mike Hill is challenging Sukhwant Gill for the at-large position. Blaine City Council unanimously appointed Gill to the at-large position in February.
Three Blaine residents are currently competing for the Ward 2 Position 4 seat currently held by Charlie Hawkins. Colin Hawkins is in the race for his father’s seat, along with Steven Tojek and Rhyan Lopez.
Jennifer Plombon and Barbara Sturdivant will challenge incumbent Eric Davidson for the Ward 3 Position 6 seat.
Blaine school board
Erika Creydt and Bob Feaster will run for the Blaine school board district 3 position, currently held by Joan Lotze, who did not file to run again.
Rocky Butler is challenging incumbent Laura McKinney for Blaine school board’s district 5 position.
North Whatcom Fire and Rescue
Incumbent John Crawford is running unopposed for the NWFR commissioner position 1. Kimberly Calman-McMurray is running unopposed for the NWFR commissioner position 5.
Birch Bay Water and Sewer District
Pedro Nieto is challenging incumbent Jeff Benner for the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District commissioner position 1.
Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2
Jesse Creydt and David Halme are running for the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2) commissioner
Incumbent Sheli Moore is running unopposed for BBBPRD2 commissioner position 2 and incumbent Billy Brown is running unopposed for BBBPRD2 commissioner position 4.
Port of Bellingham
John Huntley is challenging incumbent Michael Shepard for the Port of Bellingham district 1 position. Kelly Krieger and Austin Chapin are challenging incumbent Ken Bell for the district 2 position. Blaine and Birch Bay are represented by the district 3 position, which is not up for a vote this election.
Whatcom County Council
Four Whatcom County residents are running for the Whatcom County Council at-large position A: Incumbent Barry Buchanan, Kamal Bhachu, Misty Flowers and Bob Burr. Sumas mayor Kyle Christensen filed to run for the position but is no longer in the race.
Three Bellingham residents are running for the district 1 seat: Kaylee Galloway, Eddy Ury and Jeremiah Ramsey. Rud Browne, who currently represents district 1, is not running for re-election.
Bellingham resident Kelley O’Connor is challenging councilmember Todd Donovan for the district 2 seat.
Councilmember Tyler Byrd is being challenged for the district 3 seat by Kathy Sabel, Fred Rinard and Rebecca Lewis.
The auditor’s office also received resolutions from several fire districts in the county, including North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, for a $1.45 per $1,000 property tax levy.
The auditor’s office will mail ballots July 14 for the August 3 primary election, according to its website.
The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office needs to receive voter registration and address changes by July 26, which can be submitted either online or by mail. However, county residents can still register to vote and change their address if they go to the auditor’s office by 8 p.m. on August 3, according to the auditor’s office.
The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office is located at 311 Grand Avenue, suite 103, in Bellingham and can help people register to vote, update voter registration or get a replacement ballot. For more information on the upcoming elections, visit the auditor’s website at whatcomcounty.us/1574/elections. To see which candidates filed, visit bit.ly/2Tg0wzj.