Link to the Whatcom County Election Results.
9:52 - A last post for this evening. With a general observation. Our county is shifting more towards a progressive political outlook. Briscoe should not have done that well with voters west of the Guide and firmly in the supposedly more conservative third district. Jensen was supposed to take the lead - and was even considered by some smart people I have talked to as the shoo in for port commissioner. Well that perception is now out the window, I think. Then in the first district, Todd was expected to draw a majority, but not to outpoll experienced Republican business man Bruce Ayers by a ratio of 4:1. That breaks all the previous thinking. Yes - 62% to 17%, Donovan to Ayers. Wham. Bruce Ayers was almost a one issue candidate, making the building of the new Tag Mahal county jail the center of his campaign. Well, the jail initiative is now in trouble.
And more interestingly - this puts county charter issues up in the air also. Have the conservatives over played their hands and has their arrogance gone too far? Or are the primary results just an aberration? Are they a result of strong liberal turnout for the election and the conservatives will be out in force for the November? Or have many shifted their views on local issues towards a more liberal viewpoint?
I will try to do my best to cover issues and candidates over the next three months. I like the elements in this election and it should be fun. We voters have a chance to make several strong statements about what we value in our county - a rare chance to make clear choices that will transfer into real decisions that impact our future.
For now, I bid you good night.
8:56 - Quemby Peterson has all but sealed her win as a new Bellingham schools director. 63% of the vote - with Jono Manion and Tony Wallace each getting 19%. We will not know until the final ballot count weeks from now which one will face Quemby in the general election. Hopefully Quemby will campaign with vigor and not sacrifice this commanding lead.
8:50 - I do not share the feeling of many of my liberal friends that Gary Jensen as a port commissioner would be bad. The guy knows business - and the port is about business. I've always wondered why he is supportive of the coal terminal as that monster would seriously damage the business climate in our county. We attract great businesses because of our ambience. I think Gary is smart enough to know that and would be an excellent commissioner. That said, we get to see Gary and Bobbie spend the next few months in a real campaign for port commissioner. This will bring out issues like few if any port races have done in decades. The winner of the general election will make a real difference at the Port - and for our business climate in Whatcom County.
8:42 - As one old experienced political observer just texted me, Todd Donovan may be the only person who got positive publicity from his charter review commission experience. And, indeed, Todd was always present, consistent, polite and fully involved. He was the leader in many respects of the minority progressives and gained the respect of all factions during the process.
8:33 - Strong results for the Ferndale mayor and council primaries. I know only as much as most readers of this. If someone in Ferndale can write a comment on the meaning behind who is winning and not, that would be appreciated.
8:28 - Bobby Briscoe, the fisherman from Blaine, has pulled off a surprising first place for port commissioner, drawing 44% of the vote in the 3rd district, to favored Ferndale mayor, Gary Jensen, who drew 39%. Gary was supposed to be the strongest candidate in this race. Lloyd Zimmerman is a distant 3rd with 17%. So, the general election will see very spirited campaigns by Briscoe and Jensen. Jensen has been an early backer of the coal terminal at Cherry Point, and continued this support during the primary campaign, even though the Port of Bellingham does not have a voice in whether the coal terminal is built. This may have been the deciding issue that swung support to Briscoe.
8:23 - Todd Donovan virtually sweeps the field of 4 candidates for the county council seat from the 1st District. 62% of the vote is a landslide. Bruce Ayers, with 17% of the vote, will be his challenger in the general election. Wow. Emily Weaver and Theresa Sygitowicz each have 11% of the vote.
8:18 - Results are now posted.
8:11 pm - The results should be posted about 8:20 pm by the county Auditor. There will be only one posting this evening, with additional counts over the next few days, and with the new totals posted about 4 pm each day.