Who is filing for elective offices???Permalink +
Fri, May 17, 2013, 4:44 pm // John Servais
For the latest, check the Whatcom County Auditor "Online Voters Guide."
Also, local offices with more details at Secretary of State in Olympia.
5 p.m. Friday, May 17:
No last minute surprise filings. We will have primary elections in Bellingham, Blaine, and in the 1st Whatcom County Council district for the port commissioner. Very unusual to have no county-wide primary. Blaine has four candidates who have filed for one seat. The port district that Scott Walker is vacating has 3 candidates. In Bellingham, three people are running for the At-Large Bellingham City Council seat being vacated by Seth Fleetwood. And, most interesting, Bellingham School Board position 4 has two challengers to incumbent Steven Smith. Thus, in Bellingham we will see forums in June and July for just three races.
Having port and school board primary elections is very good for progressives and those who want to see change in those two institutions. Primaries force discussion of issues in the summer. Without a primary, the candidates with the most money can ignore forums and personal campaigning, and then a week before ballots are mailed, can just buy huge amounts of TV, radio, direct mail, robo phone calls and yard signs. This is how the Powers That Be have traditionally controlled the port commissioner offices. A primary breaks this apart and allows candidates and issues to be examined by the voters.
Above is a photo of our auditor, Debbie Adelstein, and her election staff. We just wanted to give them a bit of credit for the very important part they play in making our local elections fair and above board.
John Blethen and Hue Beattie have filed for Bellingham School Board, position 4 -against Steven Smith. We will have a primary election debate on the values that guide our school board. This is a direct result of the board deciding to close Larrabee Elementary School - and almost closing Lowell.
11 a.m. Friday, May 17:
No new filings for our major local offices this morning. Just a few for smaller county filings. There is the possibility Patty Brooks will file for County Council this afternoon for the 1st District - and against Kathy Kershner. Patty is uber right wing and Kathy is a solid conservative. Barry Buchanan, a Democratic Party liberal has filed to challenge Kathy.
I will provide a report after filing closes late this afternoon, and maybe before if something exciting happens.
1:45 p.m. Thursday:
Ken Bell has filed to challenge Mike McAuley for port commissioner. Ken is probably also the selected one of the Powers That Be locally. Interesting that he and Dan Robbins, who is running for the other port seat, were candidates for office back in 1995 - almost 20 years ago. Dan lost his bid for Bellingham mayor to Mark Asmundson, and Ken lost in the primary for Whatcom County Council (well, interesting to political junkies). Both have roots in the right wing of local politics. Now for a good shaking out of local port issues, we need one more candidate for port to make it two primary elections. I hope someone from the 2nd district will file. And progressives should not bank on Mike running a superb campaign and winning. Another progressive can now file without it being an insult to Mike. The selection of Dan and Ken, two old timers from the right who have not been active for many years in local politics, suggests they were tapped to run. The Powers are no doubt absolutely freaked out that Mike will win reelection and Renata will be the second of three commissioners. Shoud be some interesting election campaigning.
Pinky Vargas has filed for Bellingham City Council, 4th Ward. She and Clayton Petree will compete for the seat being vacated by Stan Snapp. Stan is a strong endorser of Pinky.
And we have a second primary election. Glen TenKley, who lives on Lake Whatcom, has filed this morning for port commissioner from the 1st district--the one that Scott Walker will vacate. I know nothing of Glen. Glen will go against Renata Kowalczyk and Dan Robbins. This is good news because port races tend to see no campaigning by the candidate annointed by the Powers until 10 days before ballots are mailed. Renata and Glen can force Dan Robbins to come out in July. Forcing a port primary was one of the secrets of our getting Mike McAuley elected over Doug Smith four years ago. The Powers were fully behind Doug and he ignored most primary campaigning, not even showing up for forums with the challengers. He won in the primary - incumbent advantage - and lost in the general.
We have a primary election in Bellingham. Allen Brown, who lives in the Puget neighborhood, has filed for At-Large city council late this morning. I know nothing about the guy.
11 a.m. Thursday, May 16:
Clayton Petree has filed for the 4th Ward Bellingham City Council seat. While he is the son of Jack Petree, who is the well known conservative writer and hack for the local building industry, Clayton seems of a different value system. If his father gets too involved in Clayton's campaign it will be the kiss of death for his chances. Clayton ran a lackluster campaign for mayor a couple years ago. All that said, he grew up with the issues of Bellingham and his filing certainly gives voters a clear choice versus Pinky.
Pinky Vargas, who had her kickoff party a couple nights ago, and whose supporters thought she had filed, has still not filed. This is a sign that all may not be well there. Her planned candidacy has become quite controversial with Mayor Kelli Linville endorsing her even before filing week. Kelli apparently knows her from Olympia when Kelli was our Representative and Pinky worked down there. Pinky has zero experience in Bellingham - which Kelli fixed by quickly appointing her to the Greenways Committee early this year. Her website lists the Political Junkie interview from March - but my reading of it suggests she knows little about local issues. Her website is up and you would think she had filed. I am not impressed and she shows, as Wendy Harris suggested, that she is inexperienced on Bellingham city issues.
10 p.m. Wednesday:
Most surprising is who has not yet filed. No reason for the wait. Barry Buchannan, Pinky Vargas and Clayton Petree are all holding back. Clayton may be considering whether to challenge Pinky in Bellingham's 4th Ward or Roxanne in the At-Large position.
Ben Elenbaas did file and Ken Mann will have a formidable opponent. Ken is vulnerable.
Given the controversy around the Bellingham School Board decision to close Larrabee Elementary School, the question is whether anyone will challenge Steven Smith for his board seat. Steven voted to close the school. Scott Stockburger, who strongly supported keeping Larrabee open is also running unopposed, so far.
The Herald today printed an article on Dan Robbins filing for port, but did not mention his opponent Renata Kowalczyk who also filed on Tuesday. This is good evidence that Dan is the chosen successor by the Powers-That-Be to succeed Scott Walker. Renata was chosen by Lisa McShane and she is also a formidable political manager. So this should be quite the contest. No one has filed to oppose Mike McAuley - and we have not heard of anyone considering it. My guess is that the Powers, again, will put someone up against him late on Friday. Our daily newspaper had nada about any other candidate or the election today. Three days of papers and only 5 inches of one column on the hand picked loyalist to local economic powers.
If I sound too cocky, my apology. I've seen these things happen so often they have become a pattern. Besides, we can either get infuriated with the terrible state of our republic or have a sense of humor about it all. If I'm wrong on some unimportant trivia it is no big deal. The Powers care very much about who controls the port and the victory of Mike McAuley four years ago was a complete surprise to them. Fortunately, Mike quickly came under the spell of Walker, Fix and Chmelik, and fell into line. But the Powers may well want that seat back. We shall see what happens over the next two days.
So far, we do not have a single primary. Given two open Bellingham City Council seats and one port seat, this is a surprise. Do we remember the eight candidates for mayor in 2007? And I don't ever remember a local election season with no primaries. But here we are with two days left for registration and no anticipated races with three candidates.
1 a.m. Wednesday:
Ben Elenbaas will file for County Council, 2nd district. This will put him up against Ken Mann.
Pinky Vargas will file for Bellingham City Council, 4th Ward.
Clayton Petre is expected to file for Bellingham City Council - but I'm not sure if it will be the At-Large or the 4th Ward.
I thank several people for providing me with information on potential candidates. And it is interesting that more than 10 writers have emailed positive comments to me and yet no one has yet posted an online comment. Fine by me. I appreciate the encouragement. Very much. Thank you. And we will do our best to provide you with decent candidate information for the August primary election and the November general election.
8 p.m. Tuesday
Late this afternoon, long after this was posted, the Herald began posting candidate filing news. Sort of. Ralph tells you that you knew all the filing info was on the Auditor's website and provides you with what he says is a link to it - except the link is to the Secretary of State's website. Minor error but telling. Rush job to get something posted. He tells you that 45 candidates have filed in these first two days. Actually, 61 have filed. If worth reporting, then it is nice to provide the actual fact. He promises a "full rundown" this weekend. We can expect that from any weekly newspaper. And finally he says the "Politics Blog" is excited. Hmmm. That is not yet evident and the real question is will he and John actually be allowed time to do exciting reporting on the campaigns. Not a good start.
Bob Burr should be filing tomorrow for the Bellingham City Council At-Large seat being vacated by Seth Fleetwood. He will challenge newcomer to the local political scene Roxanne Murphy. We see the fine hand of political master Lisa McShane behind her campaign.
2 p.m. Tuesday:
Barry Buchanan will file for Whatcom County Council - 1st district - to run against incumbent, Kathy Kershner. He had been planning to file for Bellingham City Council at large.
11 a.m. Tuesday:
We can expect Renata to file for Port of Bellingham and run against Dan Robbins for the 1st disrict seat.
Roxanne Murphy has filed for Bellingham City Council at large.
10:30 a.m. Tuesday:
This week we have candidates filing for Bellingham City Council, Whatcom County Council and numerous other local elected offices, including Ferndale, Lynden and other small towns. But nary a word in the Herald, either online or in the print editions. So, we are jumping in here to provide you with the basics - and will try to comment further this week.
This is an incredible ommission by the Herald. They either no longer have the resources to cover this most basic of local political news or they have chosen not to cover it. I think it is lack of resources, as all daily newspapers continue to ratchet back in an effort to survive. The Herald finally had a story in today's (Tuesday) paper about a shooting and arrest on Saturday. Nothing in Sunday's paper and nothing in Monday's. Why? Well, probably because no reporter worked the weekend. Can't afford it.
We will have more to say on that another time.
In the mean time, the auditor's website has the very basics - under the tab "Online Voters Guide." No guidance there, but the basic names are.
Fri, May 17, 2013, 4:44 pm // John ServaisTuesday morning and nothing in today's Bellingham Herald. Nor online. We provide the basics to fill in this latest omission by our "daily" newspaper.
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