For the first time since 1998, both 42nd District state representative positions have been won by Democrat candidates.
Blaine councilwoman Alicia Rule overcame Republican incumbent Luanne Van Werven for the Position 1 seat with a margin of 2,523 votes (51 percent to 49 percent), according to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. Van Werven has held the position since 2014.
“I expected it was going to be really close. I actually expected it would be closer than this, but this was a tough race,” Rule said on election night. “I’m looking forward to being able to serve the people of Whatcom County. I think people are really ready to move past partisanship and I think the vote reflected that.”
Rule believes she could still serve on Blaine City Council and said she hasn’t yet decided if she will.
For position 2, incumbent Democrat Sharon Shewmake beat Jennifer Sefzik 52 percent to 48 percent.
State-wide, Joe Biden received 2,363,062 votes (58%) versus 1,578,705 (38.7%) for Trump. County-wide, 60.3 percent voted for Joe Biden and 36.4 percent voted for Donald Trump while in Point Roberts, voters cast 724 ballots for Biden (74.4%) versus 249 (25.6%) for Trump.
In all, nearly 87.8 percent of the 158,800 registered voters in Whatcom County voted in the general election. With just 37 ballots left to be counted as of November 16, this year’s participation exceeeded the last presidential election in 2016, when turnout reached 82.7 percent.
Whatcom County voted roughly in-line with the statewide vote in most races and initiatives. Statewide, voters rejected Senate Joint Resolution 8212, which would allow public money held in a fund for long-term care services to be invested by governments in private stocks, by 54 percent to 46 percent. Whatcom County voters, however, voted in favor of that resolution 58 percent to 42 percent. In Point Roberts, it was 56 versus 44 percent.
Statewide, Governor Jay Inslee received 2,288,359 votes (56.6%) versus 1,742,245 (43.1%) for Loren Culp’s 55,445 (40.2%).Countywide, Jay Inslee received 81,897 votes (59.5%) versus 55,445 (40.2%) for Loren Culp’s 55,445 (40.2%). In Point Roberts, it was 719 (73%) versus 264 (27%). As of November 18, Culp had yet to concede the race.
Races where Whatcom County voters broke from the state include:
• U.S. Representative District 1: County voters voted for Jeffrey Beeler, Sr., over Suzan DelBene 54 percent to 46 percent. Statewide, Suzan DelBene won the race 59 percent to 41 percent. In Point Roberts, voters chose DelBene over Beeler 75 to 25 percent.
• Washington State Secretary of State: Republican incumbent Kim Wyman beat Democrat Gael Tarleton by 54 percent to 46 percent. In Whatcom County, it was 48 versus 51 percent. In Point Roberts, it was 33.5 versus 66.5 percent.
Both local and state auditor’s offices release updated preliminary results daily. Elections are certified (officially verified by election offices) on November 24, 2020.
Statewide election results can be seen at the secretary of state’s election results page: bit.ly/2GQlQp9. Local results can be tracked at the county auditor’s website, at co.whatcom.wa.us/199/auditor. Click on “Elections” and then “Current Election” in the bar on the left side of the page.