Former state representative Kelli Linville has announced she will run for mayor of Bellingham against incumbent Dan Pike in this year’s election.
Linville said she returned to Bellingham after 18 years in the state legislature not planning to run for anything. However, she said she encountered an outpouring of requests from people wanting her to seek the mayorship of her native city.
“I was drafted,” she laughed.
Linville lost her state legislature re-election bid by 149 votes to Lynden’s Vincent Buys. The race was so close a machine recount was required before the final results could be certified.
Linville said she thinks the mayor and city council of Bellingham need to have clear goals before them if they want to get anything done. She explained a lack of communication between the city and other government agencies, such as the county, has prevented progress on key issues, such as the county emergency medical system. She said her experience as a legislator managing a large staff and the state budget has prepared her for running a city.
“I am a life-time Bellingham resident, and I think the city can do better,” Linville said.
Linville has a bit of history in Blaine; her father ran C.K. Fish out of the Blaine Marina for 50 years and her brother-in-law was the principal of Blaine high school. Despite her significant loss to Rep. Buys within the city limits, Linville is proud to bring up her connection with the Peace Arch city.
“Blaine was kind of like my second home,” Linville said.