Ballots cast in the November 7 general election show a wave of changes in Whatcom County, including a new county jail and likely three new faces on Blaine school board. Updated results also show Satpal Sidhu will retain his position as Whatcom County Executive while Blaine police chief Donnell (Tank) Tanksley ahead of Doug Chadwick for Whatcom County Sheriff.
As of 5 p.m. on November 8, a total of 71,655 ballots had been counted, representing about 45 percent of the county’s 159,700 registered voters. The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office estimated another 8,881 ballots were left to be counted not including ballots still in the mail.
Proposition 4, the Whatcom County Public Health, Safety and Justice Sales and Use Tax, was passing by a wide margin. The ballot measure garnered 64.4 percent (44,033) of Whatcom County voters’ support, while 35.6percent (24,308) were against it.
Proposition 4 will authorize a sales tax of two-tenths of one percent, or 20 cents per $100, to fund a new county jail. Funds will also go toward behavioral health, supportive housing, public safety and other criminal justice services. Support for the measure comes after voters twice rejected ballot measures to fund a new jail in 2015 and 2017.
Incumbent Satpal Sidhu was leading Dan Purdy for the Whatcom County Executive position. Sidhu had 57.9percent (40,355) and Purdy had 41.9 percent (29,279) of the votes.
Doug Chadwick was ahead of Blaine police chief Donnell Tanksley for the Whatcom County Sheriff position on election night but by Wednesday night, Tanksley pulled ahead. Tanksley has received 51.9 percent (35,824), a lead of 2,689 votes, while Chadwick received 47.9 percent (33,145).
Jon Scanlon was leading Hannah Ordos for the Whatcom County At-Large Position B seat. Scanlon was ahead with 57.2 percent (38,898), while Ordos had 42.7 percent (29,025).
Incumbent Ben Elenbaas will retain his Whatcom County Council District 5 position. Elenbaas received 61.1 percent (7,473) of votes, while his challenger, Jackie Dexter, had 38.6 percent (4,727).
Mark Stremler was comfortably ahead of incumbent Kathy Kershner for the Whatcom County Council District 4 seat. Stremler received 52.6 percent (7,820) of the vote, while Kershner received 46.9 percent (6,983).
The Blaine school board will see some serious changes in the coming year as all positions were up for election.
For the school board district 1 seat, Erika Creydt is significantly ahead of Kimberly Akre. Creydt received 64.4 percent (3,247) in support, while Akre received 35.2 percent (1,774).
Ben Lazarus was ahead of Dean Berkeley for the district 2 school board seat. Lazarus received 61.1 percent (3,135) of votes, and Berkeley received 38.7 percent (1,985).
Cliff Freeman will be the new district 3 school board member after receiving 62.8 percent (3,160) in support, while Jeff Carrington received 36.5 percent (1,835).
Ryan Ford led Derrick Bovenkamp for the school board district 4 seat. Ford received 59.9 percent (2,949), while Bovenkamp received 40.7 percent (2,041).
Several candidates ran unopposed in the November election.
Don Leu was unchallenged for his district 5 Blaine school board seat.
Port of Bellingham commissioner Bobby Briscoe, running unopposed, received 45,716 votes with 714 voters entering write-in votes, the second highest protest vote in the election after county assessor Rebecca Xczar, who also ran unopposed, with 1,049 write-ins.
In Point Roberts, the fire district’s levy lift passed overwhelmingly with 196 votes (65.5 percent) versus 103 votes (34.5 percent) against.
The Point Roberts Parks and Recreation District’s regular property tax levy is just failing to reach the needed 60 percent approval threshold with 175 yes votes (59.5 percent) versus 119 No votes (40.5 percent), a shortfall of less than 2 votes.
The following district candidates, running unopposed, were elected: Allison Calder, Michael Cressy, Stephen Falk and Bill Zidel, parks; Noel Newbolt, hospital; Dan Bourks, cemetery; Scott Hackleman, Norm Katz, fire.
Whatcom County chief deputy auditor Stacy Henthorn ran unopposed for auditor and Whatcom County treasurer Steven Oliver ran unopposed to retain his position.
The next ballot count was scheduled for 5 p.m. November 9. To view election results as they’re updated, visit bit.ly/3FQFtbx.
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