Election: 72 percent vote Jorgensen

Published on Thu, Nov 6, 2003 by Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

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Election: 72 percent vote Jorgensen

By Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

More than 70 percent of voters who turned out to the polls on Tuesday punched in the name of Jim Jorgensen � a former Blaine teacher for 30 years and current salmon charter operator � for Port of Bellingham district 3 commissioner.

The latest unofficial results declared Jorgensen (NP) as the winner, defeating incumbent Ginny Benton (NP) who was seeking her third term. As of Tuesday evening at 11 p.m., 18,407 people voted Jorgensen, giving him 72 percent. Ginny Benton received 7,159 votes.

�I was just overwhelmed by the vote,� Jorgensen said. �I was really pleased to see so many people supporting me and it definitely gives me a vote of confidence that I can work for the port and with the other commissioners Scott Walker and Doug Smith, as well as the rest of the port staff.�

The port has a lot of irons in the fire, he said. �The port has a lot of things going on. It�s going to be challenging and there will be lots of learning, but I am excited and really looking forward to getting on task at the first of the year.�

Some of that change Jorgensen will work for, he said, is to focus on increased, effective communication with the public about what exactly the port is and what it does throughout the county.

�It�s important to include the public in all of this, and allow them to learn more about the port,� he said. �Communication is a big part of my plans.�

In addition, Jorgensen would like to see Marine Drive rebuilt. �Hopefully in the near future, the port and the city can get together and discuss the rebuilding of Marine Drive,� he said. �There have been some excellent designs have been done in the past to show how Marine Drive could look, making it really attractive for other businesses to set up shop here.�

After winning the primary election in September, Jorgensen and his wife Patricia went out for Ben & Jerry�s ice cream to celebrate. So how did they celebrate this time?

�It was so late, we stopped at McDonald�s and got a hot fudge sundae,� Jorgensen said.

A total of 94,753 people are registered to vote in Whatcom County. More than 50,000 absentees were issued, and about 31,175 have been returned to date. The election will be finalized November 19. For the latest update, log on to www.co.whatcom.wa.us

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