Blaine, Birch Bay supported Ericksen, Larson over Louws, Kremen

Published on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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State Senator Dough Ericksen may have conceded the Whatcom County Executive race to former Lynden mayor Jack Louws, but voting precinct numbers show Ericksen would have won if the election had been limited to Blaine and Birch Bay.

The local precinct data tell a similar story in the race between outgoing county executive Pete Kremen and current Whatcom County Council member Tony Larson in the race for the council position representing council district 1, position B. In both these races, Blaine and Birch Bay residents strayed from the rest of the county and supported the candidate trailing in total votes.

According to ballot numbers released November 15, Louws led Ericksen with 53.9 percent of the vote to Ericksen’s 46.1 percent. However, Ericksen carried the Blaine and Birch Bay areas with 53.2 percent of the vote to Louws’ 46.8; a full 6 percentage points more than the former Lynden mayor. Those figures just about mirrored the tallies for the Blaine area individually; Blaine residents supported Ericksen with 52 percent, while Birch Bay residents supported him with 53.9 percent.

Louws said Ericksen has done a good job of representing the area in the state legislature and has gathered support from a number of communities in the county because of that. Louws could not say what about Blaine and Birch Bay specifically might have made them support Ericksen, but said he is looking forward to working with the two communities as Whatcom County Executive.

“You’re not going to win every precinct countywide,” Louws said.

The numbers in the Kremen/Larson race tell a similar story. Countywide, Kremen led Larson with 50.9 percent of the vote to Larson’s 49.1 percent. However, Larson garnered 57.8 percent of the vote in Birch Bay to Kremen’s 42.2 percent while Blaine residents supported Larson with 52.1 percent and Kremen with 47.9 percent.

Larson had his strongest support from precinct 104, where 60.6 percent of the residents voted for him. Precinct 104 encompasses a rough square formed by H Street on the north, Delta Line Road on the east, Loomis Trail Road on the south and Giles Road on the west.

The local precinct that showed the strongest support for Ericksen, at 57.8 percent of the vote, was precinct 301. This precinct encompasses Blaine from Peace Portal Drive east until about Valley View Road with its southern border running along H Street.

The race between Larson and Kremen had been too close to call before the final election numbers came in, and the same could have been said for the contest between current county council member Sam Crawford and opponent Christina Maginnis, who competed for council seat representing council district 2, position B.

According to November 15’s ballot counts, Crawford led Maginnis by 467 votes; just less than one percentage point difference between the two. Ballot counts released on November 12 had Maginnis leading by 601 votes.

Crawford and Maginnis may have been running a close race countywide, but Crawford was able to carry the Blaine and Birch Bay areas with 55.1 percent to Maginnis’ 44.9 percent. Voting precinct 104 showed the most support for Crawford of all the local precincts, with 61.2 percent of its residents voting for the incumbent county council member.

In the race for the county council position representing Blaine and Birch Bay, incumbent Barbara Brenner led countywide with 56.8 percent of the vote to opponent and Blaine City Council member Alan Black’s 43.2 percent. Brenner also showed strongly in the Blaine and Birch Bay areas, garnering 62.5 percent of the vote in the local precincts to Black’s 37.5 percent. Black, however, held Brenner to 51.4. percent of the vote in precinct 303, which encompasses the Semiahmoo area.

The elections will be certified on November 29.