Birch Bay, Blaine voters preferred Taylor to Harris in county sheriff’s race

Published on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Though he did not make it to the November general election, Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy Bob Taylor drummed up enough support in the voting precincts that comprise Blaine and Birch Bay to place ahead of sheriff’s deputy Steve Harris.

Taylor secured an average of 12.5 percent of the vote across the seven precincts in Blaine and Birch Bay while Harris received an average of 10.1 percent, according to data from the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. Incumbent Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo moved onto the general election with an average of 77.5 percent of the vote from voters in Blaine and Birch Bay, approximately 4 percentage points more than his countywide total.

Harris will join Elfo in the general election after receiving 14.9 percent of the vote at 6,254 votes countywide. Taylor secured 11.9 percent of the vote countywide with 4,986 votes.

Taylor did well in the Lynden area also, and Harris said he attributes Taylor’s success in the northern parts of the county to his message of fiscal conservatism. Harris said he did not focus much campaign money on the Blaine and Birch Bay areas, choosing rather to advertise in the Bellingham area.

“I was on a shoestring budget,” Harris said. He said he needs to focus more on connecting with the communities he would serve as sheriff if he wants to win the general election.

He said he hopes the general election will give people more of a chance to compare the two candidates for county sheriff, which has not had enough candidates for a primary in 20 years.

Voters in precinct 303, bounded by I-5 to the west, H Street to the south and just about Valley View Road to the east, showed the most support for Elfo of all the precincts in Blaine and Birch Bay, with the incumbent sheriff receiving 85.8 percent of the vote at 302 of a total 352 possible votes. Voters in precinct 104, directly east of precinct 303 and bounded by Delta Line Road to the east and Loomis Trail Road to the south, supported both Taylor and Harris the most of all Blaine and Birch Bay precincts with Taylor securing 15.7 percent of the vote and Harris receiving 12.5 percent.

In other election news, state senator Doug Ericksen will face off against former Lynden mayor Jack Louws for the county executive position in November. The most recent totals showed Ericksen at the head of the pack with 36.4 percent of the vote at 15,589 votes and Louws in second place at 28.4 percent with 12,182 votes.

Ericksen and Louws led in the Blaine and Birch Bay voting precincts with Ericksen securing an average of 45.5 percent of the vote and Louws taking in 31.3 percent. Former county planning director David Stalheim, who was within two percentage points of Louws in the countywide race, garnered an average of 16.4 percent of the vote in the Blaine and Birch Bay areas.

The mayoral race in Bellingham could not have been much closer with only 38 votes separating incumbent mayor Dan Pike and former state representative Kelli Linville. Pike secured 39.8 percent of the vote while Linville garnered 39.6 percent.

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 is a former principal of Blaine High School.