Hawkins, Higgins and Gill announce bids for Blaine City Council

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Colin Hawkins

Colin Hawkins announced he will run for the Blaine City Council Ward 2 Position 4 seat currently held by his father, Charlie Hawkins, who won’t be running for re-election.

If elected, Hawkins said he would like to focus on expanding utilities in east Blaine in a way that won’t negatively impact people already connected to the utilities, so they don’t have to foot the bill for new houses.

Hawkins has served on the city of Blaine’s public works advisory committee since 2015 and has served as chairperson for the past two years. He has almost 20 years’ of experience in local politics. Hawkins has also organized the Blaine Christmas Giving Tree, fundraised for the Marine Park playground and Blaine Food Bank.

Hawkins is a former president and board member of the Blaine Community Theater.

“I think my time involved in the city with the public works advisory committee has given me a lot of insight in the pretty substantial hurdles Blaine has coming up,” he said. “Utility expansion is going to be a big issue.”

Hawkins’ family has lived in Blaine for over five generations and ran Goff’s Department Store for nearly a century in downtown Blaine. Everyone from his father, grandfather, mom, and aunts and uncles have been involved in local politics over the years, Hawkins said.

“It’s been a way in my family to give back to the community,” he said. “It’s seen as a way we can continue to make Blaine the best that it can be.”

Hawkins said he decided now would be a good time to run for council because his children are getting older so he has more time to dedicate to meetings.

Kerena Higgins

Kerena Higgins announced her bid for Blaine City Council’s Ward 1 Position 2 seat, currently held by mayor Bonnie Onyon.

If elected, Higgins said she wants to help create steady and balanced business growth in Blaine through business growth and housing.

Higgins is a local attorney who has served for 20 years as an assistant attorney general with the Washington state Attorney General’s Office, where she manages a team of attorneys who represent public universities and the Washington state Department of Labor. In her work, Higgins advises local schools such as Western Washington University, Bellingham Technical College and Whatcom Community College.

“Advising for Western is like advising a small city,” she said. “I have the ability to analyze problems from a lot of different perspectives and take an approach based on a solid risk analysis.”

Higgins is running for a vacant seat, since Onyon announced she would not run for reelection.

Higgins ran for the at-large council seat earlier this year.

Before the Attorney General’s Office, Higgins worked as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C. and as a grants administrator for Washington State University. She earned her J.D. from Seattle University and her B.A. from Vermont University. 

Higgins said she decided to run now because her children getting older has given her more time to give back to the community.

Sukhwant Singh Gill

Sukhwant Singh Gill announced he is running to retain his at-large seat on Blaine City Council.

If successful, Gill said he wants to bring more business across the border and improve Blaine’s tourism. Gill said he’d like to prioritize Marine Drive repairs to Jorgensen Public Pier and create multicultural festivals to drive Blaine’s tourism. 

“I’d like to work with city council to get things done together to get to a reachable thinking which can make the town better,” he said. “We work as a team to make everything better in Blaine, whatever efforts we need to put to make it a better, more beautiful, tourism place with activities.”

Gill said he would also like to work with city council to help get funding and aid for pending projects around Blaine.

Gill has lived and worked as a businessman in Blaine since the early ’90s, during which time he has owned or started several businesses including the Shell gas station on D Street, Big Al’s Diner and the newly opened Blaine Mart convenience store on C Street.

Gill has also served on the Blaine Tourism Advisory Committee.

Council appointed Gill to the position in February, after former councilmember Alicia Rule resigned.

“I know how to listen to stakeholders and experts, to make sure that we find solutions that will have the most benefit and the least harm to the businesses and citizens of Blaine.” Gill said in a statement. “In my work on the BTAC committee before I was on council, I was focused on promoting our historic places and tourism, which can increase city revenue and jobs.”

This article has been updated to clarify that Colin Hawkins has been chairperson on the city of Blaine's public works advisory committee for the past two years and has served on the committee since 2015.

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