Challengers fail to storm city hall, incumbents stay
By Pat Grubb
city council incumbents thumped their challengers Tuesday
as voters decided to stay with the tried and true. In Ward
1, Bonnie Onyon received 468 votes compared to former council
member David White who limped home with 176 votes, a 73
to 27 percent margin. In council at large, Marsh a Hawkins
held a similar lead with 406 votes compared to Mile Gagnons
192, a 68 to 32 percent lead.
A newcomer to city politics, Bruce Wolf took home 466 votes (or 74 percent) to Jim Anderson who received 167 votes (or 26 percent) in the race for Ward 2. Running unopposed in Ward 3, Mike Myers received 453 votes.
In district elections, incumbent fire district 13 commissioner Eddie Lathers received 831 votes while incumbent Birch Bay Water & Sewer District commissioner Patrick Alesse received 475 votes.
Also running unopposed for Blaine school board positions, incumbents Pebble Griffin and Mike Dodd received 798 and 1,056 votes, respectively, for positions 3 and 5. Also unopposed, Steve Dodd and Christina Olason received 870 and 820 votes for positions 2 and 3 of the Northwest Park & Recreation District.
Across the bay in Point Roberts, results of some hotly contested fire district seats remained unknown, awaiting write-in poll counts scheduled for Friday, November 9. Appointed commissioner Don Frantz received 57 votes with write-in challenger Rich Lloyd showing 21 absentee votes, according to Whatcom County Auditor Shirley Forslof. Incumbent John Fisher received 78 votes while challenger Ron Calder received 52 votes. Martin Mansfield received 69 votes while recently appointed commissioner Jesse Lofquist, running as a write-in candidate, had no absentee votes that were not overvotes.
An overvote is one where the voter has written in the candidates name while also punching the chad of his opponent, effectively voting for two candidates for the same position. As mentioned, counts of the write-ins and additional absentee votes will take place on the ninth.
The Point Roberts parks board levy passed handily with 64 percent (82 votes) of the electorate approving the $30,000 funding. Running unopposed for parks commissioner, incumbent Shelley Damewood received 86 votes and Fred DeHaan received 87.
Overall, county voter turnout was a typically dismal 30 percent. Absentee voters totaled 15,567 versus 13,861 poll voters, a relaxation of the recent trend to dominant absentee counts. In Blaine, voter turnout was slightly higher than the county at 33 percent but lower than Lyndens 40 percent and Sumas 45 percent turnout.