Return Ballots by Tuesday, November 5th

Brian Estes is listed in the Progressive Voters Guide below. Welcome to the 2019 Fuse Progressive Voters Guide! The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Please share this guide with your friends and remember to vote by November 5!

  • Non-Partisan
    Brian Estes
  • Brian Estes, the vice chair of the executive board of the Whatcom County Democrats, is running for District 4 on the County Council. Estes' top priorities include resolving water quantity issues, creating high-wage jobs in business, technology, agriculture, and other industries. He supports working more closely with colleges, workplace development organizations, and high schools to develop STEM education and job training for high-wage tech jobs. Estes wants to see an incarceration reduction strategy implemented that diverts those who need mental health and addiction services out of jail and into sobering and other service centers, reducing the number of prison beds needed.

    Estes is running against Kathy Kershner, a former commissioned officer in the Navy and the current chair of the Whatcom County Republican Party. She was a member of the Whatcom Council County from 2010 to 2014. Her campaign focuses include preserving agricultural heritage and ensuring water access.

    Estes is the clear progressive choice in this race.

    Brian Estes

    Brian Estes, the vice chair of the executive board of the Whatcom County Democrats, is running for District 4 on the County Council. Estes' top priorities include resolving water quantity issues, creating high-wage jobs in business, technology, agriculture, and other industries.

Whatcom County

Whatcom County

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Statewide Ballot Measures

Referendum #88

  • VOTE APPROVED
    Vote "Approved" on Referendum 88
  • Referendum 88 is a public vote on I-1000, the affirmative action ballot measure signed by nearly 400,000 Washingtonians and approved by the Legislature this spring.

    I-1000 would allow affirmative action policies in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting. It will restore fairness for veterans, small business owners, women, and people of color seeking to succeed in public employment, contracting, and university admissions – without the use of caps or quotas. Affirmative action, which is legal in 42 other states, will increase business contracts and college enrollment for women and people of color in Washington.

    It's long past time to restore affirmative action in Washington. Vote to approve Initiative 1000.

    R-88/I-1000

    Referendum 88 is a public vote on I-1000, the affirmative action ballot measure signed by nearly 400,000 Washingtonians and approved by the Legislature this spring.

  • General Progressive: Fuse
    Social Justice: OneAmerica Votes
    Other: League of Women Voters of Washington, VoteVets.org, Washington Education Association, ACLU of Washington

Initiative #976

Advisory Vote #20

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 20
  • Washington's senior population has doubled since 1980 and will double again by 2040. Most seniors cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for the long-term medical care they need. A bipartisan group of lawmakers moved to build upon the state's Paid Family and Medical Leave program through Second Substitute House Bill 1087. This legislation created a new long-term insurance benefit that will address the looming crisis of seniors who cannot afford the care they need. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 20.

    Advisory Vote 20

    Washington's senior population has doubled since 1980 and will double again by 2040. Most seniors cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for the long-term medical care they need. A bipartisan group of lawmakers moved to build upon the state's Paid Family and Medical Leave program through Second Substitute House Bill 1087. This legislation created a new long-term insurance benefit that will address the looming crisis of seniors who cannot afford the care they need. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 20.

Advisory Vote #21

  • VOTE REPEALED
    Vote "Repealed" on Advisory Vote 21
  • Legislators passed Engrossed Third Substitute House Bill 1324, also known as the Washington Rural Development and Distressed Opportunity Zone Act, that extends a business and occupation tax preference for timber companies. In addition, part of HB 1324 raises a small amount of revenue from timber companies for salmon recovery, which is what led to Advisory Vote 21. While the salmon recovery provision is laudable, HB 1324 will primarily serve as an unnecessary tax cut for timber companies at a time when we need to be investing more in affordable housing, education, health care, and other priorities. Vote “Repealed” on Advisory Vote No. 21.

    Advisory Vote 21

    Legislators passed Engrossed Third Substitute House Bill 1324, also known as the Washington Rural Development and Distressed Opportunity Zone Act, that extends a business and occupation tax preference for timber companies. In addition, part of HB 1324 raises a small amount of revenue from timber companies for salmon recovery, which is what led to Advisory Vote 21.

Advisory Vote #22

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" On Advisory Vote 22
  • Washington is the latest state to adopt a recycling program for leftover architectural paint. The Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 1652 to add a small recycling fee to the price of paint to fund the program. This law will ensure that hundreds of thousands of gallons of paint will be disposed of responsibly and no longer pollute our environment. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 22.

    Advisory Vote 22

    Washington is the latest state to adopt a recycling program for leftover architectural paint. The Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 1652 to add a small recycling fee to the price of paint to fund the program. This law will ensure that hundreds of thousands of gallons of paint will be disposed of responsibly and no longer pollute our environment. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 22.

Advisory Vote #23

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 23
  • Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of vape products have not been paying regular tobacco taxes. The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1873 to remedy this and create the Essential Public Health Services Account. Electronic cigarettes, electronic devices, and vape pens will now be classified and taxed as tobacco products. This account will fund health services, tobacco and vape product control and prevention, and enforcement by the state liquor and cannabis board to prevent the sale of vape products to minors. This legislation is even more important after several reports of lung injuries linked to vaping in Washington state as well as hundreds around the country. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 23.

    Advisory Vote 23

    Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of vape products have not been paying regular tobacco taxes. The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1873 to remedy this and create the Essential Public Health Services Account. Electronic cigarettes, electronic devices, and vape pens will now be classified and taxed as tobacco products. This account will fund health services, tobacco and vape product control and prevention, and enforcement by the state liquor and cannabis board to prevent the sale of vape products to minors.

Advisory Vote #24

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 24
  • The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2158 to increase funding for higher education, including financial aid, raises for community college faculty, and a student loan program for middle-class students called the Washington College Grant. The Washington College Grant would replace the State Need Grant, which runs out of money every year and leaves thousands of eligible students without any money. The Workforce Education Investment Act is designed so that businesses that benefit the most from a highly-educated workforce will contribute to the cost of higher education. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 24.

    Advisory Vote 24

    The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2158 to increase funding for higher education, including financial aid, raises for community college faculty, and a student loan program for middle-class students called the Washington College Grant. The Washington College Grant would replace the State Need Grant, which runs out of money every year and leaves thousands of eligible students without any money. The Workforce Education Investment Act is designed so that businesses that benefit the most from a highly-educated workforce will contribute to the cost of higher education.

Advisory Vote #25

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 25
  • Washington's low-income families pay six times more in taxes than the wealthiest residents. To begin to balance our tax code, the Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2167 to increase the business and occupation tax on financial institutions that reported a net income of $1 billion or more during the previous calendar year. We think it's reasonable for these extremely profitable companies to pay a little more in taxes to support the services working families rely on. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 25.

    Advisory Vote 25

    Washington's low-income families pay six times more in taxes than the wealthiest residents. To begin to balance our tax code, the Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2167 to increase the business and occupation tax on financial institutions that reported a net income of $1 billion or more during the previous calendar year. We think it's reasonable for these extremely profitable companies to pay a little more in taxes to support the services working families rely on. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 25.

Advisory Vote #26

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 26
  • Washington legislators have moved to update our tax laws in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that forced internet retailers to charge sales tax in all states. Among other things, Substitute Senate Bill 5581 eliminates a tax advantage that out-of-state sellers long enjoyed over local companies. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 26.

    Advisory Vote 26

    Washington legislators have moved to update our tax laws in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that forced internet retailers to charge sales tax in all states. Among other things, Substitute Senate Bill 5581 eliminates a tax advantage that out-of-state sellers long enjoyed over local companies. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 26.

Advisory Vote #27

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 27
  • Washington state has more than 13,000 known or suspected contaminated sites. The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) became law in 1989 and has supported efforts to clean up more than 7,000 contaminated sites. The MTCA is funded by a voter-approved tax on hazardous substances such as petroleum products and pesticides. This year, the Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5993 to update the law to improve transparency and increase funding for clean air, clean water, and toxic cleanup programs. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 27.

    Advisory Vote 27

    Washington state has more than 13,000 known or suspected contaminated sites. The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) became law in 1989 and has supported efforts to clean up more than 7,000 contaminated sites. The MTCA is funded by a voter-approved tax on hazardous substances such as petroleum products and pesticides. This year, the Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5993 to update the law to improve transparency and increase funding for clean air, clean water, and toxic cleanup programs.

Advisory Vote #28

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 28
  • Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5997 closed a longstanding loophole that allowed many out-of-state shoppers to avoid paying sales tax in Washington. Visitors from states without a sales tax can still request a remittance from the Washington Department of Revenue. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 28.

    Advisory Vote 28

    Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5997 closed a longstanding loophole that allowed many out-of-state shoppers to avoid paying sales tax in Washington. Visitors from states without a sales tax can still request a remittance from the Washington Department of Revenue. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 28.

Advisory Vote #29

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 29
  • This legislation is one step towards balancing our upside-down tax code by making Washington's real estate excise taxes (REET) progressive. Instead of a flat rate of 1.28 percent, property sales of less than $500,000 are reduced to a 1.1 percent tax rate, sales between $1.5 and $3 million would be taxed at 2.75 percent, and properties sold for more than $3 million would be taxed at 3 percent. All the funding from Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5998 will be dedicated to the Education Legacy Trust Account. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 29.

    Advisory Vote 29

    This legislation is one step towards balancing our upside-down tax code by making Washington's real estate excise taxes (REET) progressive. Instead of a flat rate of 1.28 percent, property sales of less than $500,000 are reduced to a 1.1 percent tax rate, sales between $1.5 and $3 million would be taxed at 2.75 percent, and properties sold for more than $3 million would be taxed at 3 percent. All the funding from Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5998 will be dedicated to the Education Legacy Trust Account. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 29.

Advisory Vote #30

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" for Advisory Vote 30
  • This legislation eliminates a tax break for travel agents and tour operators for businesses who earn $250,000 or more per year. Businesses that earn less than $250,000 will continue to pay the lower rate. Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6004 will bring more revenue to the state and ensure that large out-of-state and online businesses pay their share. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 30.

    Advisory Vote 30

    This legislation eliminates a tax break for travel agents and tour operators for businesses who earn $250,000 or more per year. Businesses that earn less than $250,000 will continue to pay the lower rate. Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6004 will bring more revenue to the state and ensure that large out-of-state and online businesses pay their share. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 30.

Advisory Vote #31

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 31
  • This legislation passed Engrossed Senate Bill 6016 to reauthorize and narrow a sales tax exemption for certain international investment management companies. In order to receive the tax exemption, a business must have more than 25 percent of employees in the state, at least 500 full-time employees worldwide, and gross revenue of more than $400 million. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 31.

    Advisory Vote 31

    This legislation passed Engrossed Senate Bill 6016 to reauthorize and narrow a sales tax exemption for certain international investment management companies. In order to receive the tax exemption, a business must have more than 25 percent of employees in the state, at least 500 full-time employees worldwide, and gross revenue of more than $400 million. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 31.

Constitutional Amendment #8200

  • VOTE APPROVED
    Vote "Approved" on Senate Joint Resolution 8200
  • This measure would allow the Legislature to temporarily fill vacant public offices during an emergency by including "catastrophic incidents" like earthquakes or tsunamis in the definition of emergency powers. As Washington has been on high alert for an earthquake for years, legislators want to ensure governmental continuity in the event of massive damage from a natural disaster. While it is not pleasant to think about, Washington state needs to be prepared for a catastrophic event. This measure passed with bipartisan support. Vote "Approved" on Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200.

    Senate Joint Resolution 8200

    This measure would allow the Legislature to temporarily fill vacant public offices during an emergency by including "catastrophic incidents" like earthquakes or tsunamis in the definition of emergency powers. As Washington has been on high alert for an earthquake for years, legislators want to ensure governmental continuity in the event of massive damage from a natural disaster. While it is not pleasant to think about, Washington state needs to be prepared for a catastrophic event. This measure passed with bipartisan support. Vote "Approved" on Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200.

40th Legislative District

Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.

State Senator

Whatcom County

Whatcom County Executive

  • Non-Partisan
  • Satpal Sidhu is a small business owner and former dean of Bellingham Technical College who has called Whatcom County home for 30 years. Sidhu has served on the Whatcom County Council since 2015 and is a current board member on the Whatcom Community College Foundation and the NW Agricultural Business Center. He supports the preservation of farmland, bringing family-wage jobs to the county, improving water quality, and addressing housing shortages for future residents.

    Conservative Tony Larson is challenging Sidhu. Larson is the president of the Whatcom Business Alliance, which was one of the strongest proponents of expanding dirty coal exports. A former Whatcom County councilmember, Larson is running as a business candidate and is focused on increasing economic opportunities for businesses.

    Sidhu is the progressive choice for Whatcom County Executive. 

    Satpal S. Sidhu

    Satpal Sidhu is a small business owner and former dean of Bellingham Technical College who has called Whatcom County home for 30 years.

  • Other: 42nd Legislative District Democrats, Riveters Collective

Whatcom County Council

Whatcom County Council, District #5

  • Non-Partisan
  • Natalie McClendon is serving her second term as a Whatcom County Planning Commissioner. She has served as chair of the Whatcom Democrats and has volunteered with the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and other community organizations. If elected to the county council, McClendon says she will tackle issues of land and water use, affordable housing, and lack of job opportunities.

    She is running against conservative Ben Elenbaas, a farmer, 18-year employee of BP's Cherry Point Refinery, and president of the WC Farm Bureau. He also served on the Whatcom County Planning Commission. In regards to the moratorium at Cherry Point, Elenbaas has stated that he would "seek to facilitate a regulatory environment in which these companies can continue to improve, upgrade and remain reliable, something our current council has demonstrated they are not willing to do." Elenbaas would push the council to support big corporations over protections for workers and the environment.

    McClendon is the best choice for Whatcom County Council in District 5.

    Natalie McClendon

    Natalie McClendon is serving her second term as a Whatcom County Planning Commissioner. She has served as chair of the Whatcom Democrats and has volunteered with the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and other community organizations.

Whatcom County Council, District #4

  • Non-Partisan
  • Brian Estes, the vice chair of the executive board of the Whatcom County Democrats, is running for District 4 on the County Council. Estes' top priorities include resolving water quantity issues, creating high-wage jobs in business, technology, agriculture, and other industries. He supports working more closely with colleges, workplace development organizations, and high schools to develop STEM education and job training for high-wage tech jobs. Estes wants to see an incarceration reduction strategy implemented that diverts those who need mental health and addiction services out of jail and into sobering and other service centers, reducing the number of prison beds needed.

    Estes is running against Kathy Kershner, a former commissioned officer in the Navy and the current chair of the Whatcom County Republican Party. She was a member of the Whatcom Council County from 2010 to 2014. Her campaign focuses include preserving agricultural heritage and ensuring water access.

    Estes is the clear progressive choice in this race.

    Brian Estes

    Brian Estes, the vice chair of the executive board of the Whatcom County Democrats, is running for District 4 on the County Council. Estes' top priorities include resolving water quantity issues, creating high-wage jobs in business, technology, agriculture, and other industries.

Whatcom County Council, At-Large Position B

  • Non-Partisan
  • Incumbent Carol Frazey is a small business owner and former teacher who is running for re-election to the Whatcom County Council. Her platform is focused on developing youth health programs in nutrition and the environment, increasing access to treatment programs to reduce incarceration rates, and supporting affordable housing. She is seeking to implement countywide broadband service, create a water protection plan for Lake Whatcom, and build a carbon-negative economy in the county.

    Frazey is running against David Ramirez, who has been endorsed by the Whatcom County Republicans. Ramirez is running to reduce regulations on businesses and support individuals' rights to "use, possess, and dispose of private property as they see fit."

    Carol Frazey is by far the best candidate for At-Large Position B on the Whatcom County Council.

    Carol Frazey

    Incumbent Carol Frazey is a small business owner and former teacher who is running for re-election to the Whatcom County Council.

Bellingham Mayor

Bellingham Mayor

  • April Barker, a Bellingham City Council member, substitute school teacher, and 20-year resident of Bellingham, is now running for mayor. She serves as the Chair of the Planning and Community Development Committee and a member of numerous other committees, including Justice, Finance, Public Works, and Accessible Technologies. As a council member, she has prioritized criminal justice reform, combating climate change, improving transportation options, and offering more affordable housing options. The centerpiece of Barker's campaign is creating more affordable housing. She lays out a detailed plan about how building more housing will strengthen the economy, fight climate change, reduce homelessness, improve transportation, and address historical inequities.

    Barker is running against Seth Fleetwood, a lawyer who is co-chair of the Whatcom County Housing Affordability Task Force, a former member of both the Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council, and a 2014 state Senate candidate. He is running to bring collaborative solutions to homelessness and housing affordability and help ensure a just transition to a clean energy future.

    Barker is the best choice for Mayor of Bellingham because of her strong endorsements and experience on the city council.

    April Barker

    April Barker, a Bellingham City Council member, substitute school teacher, and 20-year resident of Bellingham, is now running for mayor.

  • Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
    Other: 42nd Legislative District Democrats, Riveters Collective

Bellingham City Council

Bellingham City Council, Ward #1

  • Beth Hartsoch is running for Bellingham City Council on a platform of affordable housing and increasing transportation options in Bellingham. She co-founded the Riveters Collective, a progressive civic action group, in response to the 2016 election. In 2018, the group formed a Political Action Committee and turned out voters in the 42nd Legislative District.

    As a 20-year bike commuter, Hartsoch wants to make Bellingham's streets safer and easier for people to walk, bike, roll, and take transit. She also wants to bring her background in data analysis to increase transparency and improve outcomes for the city. 

    Beth Hartsoch

    Beth Hartsoch is running for Bellingham City Council on a platform of affordable housing and increasing transportation options in Bellingham. She co-founded the Riveters Collective, a progressive civic action group, in response to the 2016 election.

  • Other: Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Bellingham City Council, Ward #3

Bellingham City Council, Ward #5

  • Democratic Socialist Chanan Suarez is running for the open seat on the Bellingham City Council, Ward 5, which will be vacated by Terry Bornemann at the end of the year. He is an Iraq War veteran who works for the American Federation of Government Employees. He is running on a bold progressive platform of housing for all, a Green New Deal for Bellingham, workers' rights, sanctuary for all, municipalization of services, funding an expansion of city programs with a progressive income tax and luxury taxes. In particular, he wants to build 3,500 units of city-owned social housing and expand tenants' right across the city. Suarez also wants to increase the Bellingham minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. 

    Chanan Suarez

    Democratic Socialist Chanan Suarez is running for the open seat on the Bellingham City Council, Ward 5, which will be vacated by Terry Bornemann at the end of the year. He is an Iraq War veteran who works for the American Federation of Government Employees.

  • Economic Justice: SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
    Other: Riveters Collective

Bellingham City Council, At-Large

  • Hollie Huthman is the owner of the Shakedown, a metal bar, and the Racket, a pinball lounge and bar. Huthman is running on a platform of affordable housing, job creation, and criminal justice reform. She is endorsed by current Bellingham City Councilmembers Gene Knutson, Pinky Vargas, and Terry Borneman, in addition to several past council members.

    Huthman is running against Dana Briggs, a cook at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital who is running on a platform of combating climate change and protecting the Salish Sea. Briggs also wants to implement housing first policies to reduce homelessness and make Bellingham a sanctuary city.

    We believe Huthman's thorough platform, strong campaign presence, and impressive support from progressive advocates makes her the best choice for the at-large seat on Bellingham City Council.

    Hollie Huthman

    Hollie Huthman is the owner of the Shakedown, a metal bar, and the Racket, a pinball lounge and bar. Huthman is running on a platform of affordable housing, job creation, and criminal justice reform.

  • Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
    Other: 42nd Legislative District Democrats, Riveters Collective, Bellingham/Whatcom County Firefighters Local 106