Democrats claim landslide victory across nation
By Pat Grubb
The Democratic tsunami that began on the east coast and washed across most of America spread through Whatcom County as voters showed an overwhelming preference for the blue side of the ballot.
While Barack Obama received 53 percent of the vote nationally, here in Whatcom County 61 percent of the electorate picked him as their choice for President.
As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, 100,394 ballots had been returned to the Whatcom County election office, out of a total voter registration of 115,314 or 87.1 percent. This compares to 91,497 ballots cast out of 106,094 registered voters, or 86.2 percent in the last Presidential election in 2004.
More ballots will be returned in the coming days from absentee voters who waited until November 4 to mail their ballots from near and far.
Local County Measures:
Whatcom County Charter Amendment No. 1 passed handily with 55.5 percent (25,957) of voters in favor. The amendment returns the county to the previous system whereby voters are able to vote for all county council candidates in the general election, not just those in their district.
Reflecting concern with the economy, voters rejected a levy lid lift for the North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Service with 66.4 percent (4,746) voting against the tax. The lift would have raised taxes from $1.32 per $1,000 of assessed value to $1.40 per $1,000.
Bellingham architect Jeffrey McClure whomped Robin Dexter in his bid to become Public Utility District commissioner with 68.5 percent (18,674) of voters favoring McClure.
Voters once again returned state representative Kelli Linville to Olympia with a fresh mandate of 21,678 (62.1 percent) votes versus 13,246 for her newcomer Republican opponent Jere Hawn.
The other district 42 incumbent, Republican Doug Ericksen, showed less strength with 18,962 (54.6 percent) votes versus 15,788 votes for Democratic opponent Mark Flanders.
At the congressional level, incumbent U.S. Representative Rick Larsen will be going back to Washington, D.C. as 26,388 votes poured in for him (68.3 percent) versus 12,259 for Republican opponent Rick Bart.
Statewide, Dino Rossi’s campaign to avenge his 2004 gubernatorial loss by 133 votes out of 2,810,053 cast seems to have fallen on a majority of deaf ears. Democratic incumbent governor Christine Gregoire is running at 53.4 percent (887,961) versus Rossi’s 46.6 percent (776,777), a far cry from 2004’s early results. Rossi conceded defeat Wednesday morning.
Also being returned to state office are: Brad Owen, D, Lt. Governor; Sam Reed, R, Secretary of State; Brian Sonntag, D, State Auditor and Rob McKenna, R, Attorney General.
However, incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson is in a tight battle with Randy Dorn who currently has 50.8 percent (727,383) of the votes against Bergeson’s 49.21 percent (703,531).
Incumbent Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland is in similarly constricted straits with 49.63 percent (779,509) of the votes against Democrat Peter Goldmark who has 50.4 percent (791,179).
There were three statewide initiatives on the ballot this year. Initiative 985 involved transportation issues including opening HOV lanes during non-peak hours and went down in defeat with 59.5 percent of state voters expressing disapproval.
Initiative 1000 would allow terminally ill patients to receive lethal prescriptions and was approved by 58.5 percent of state voters. Initiative 1029 concerned training and licensing requirements for aid givers to seniors and was approved 74 to 26 percent.