Whatcom County

Whatcom County

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Return Ballots by Tuesday, November 3rd

The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. We are releasing our guide early this year for overseas and military voters. We will continue adding and updating recommendations until voting begins on October 14.

Statewide Ballot Measures

Referendum #90

  • VOTE APPROVED
    Vote YES on Referendum 90
  • Young people deserve accurate information to help them make good decisions, to protect themselves, and to protect their futures. But today, too many students don’t receive high-quality, inclusive, medically accurate education about sex and healthy relationships, putting them at risk of sexual assault, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections. In particular, students of color are more likely to receive incomplete or incorrect sex education. 

    Voting to approve Referendum 90 will uphold the new Washington law (ESSB 5395) that requires all public schools to offer age-appropriate, inclusive, comprehensive sex education. Washington’s Legislature passed the law to expand access to sex education to all students. Unfortunately, the state Republican Party alongside anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-choice groups have put sex education up for another vote by placing Referendum 90 on the ballot. 

    Referendum 90 has been endorsed by a diverse group of more than 100 medical, education, and sexual assault prevention groups. Sex education serves as both prevention and intervention for sexual assault and rape. Children who are being sexually abused often don’t understand what is happening until someone provides them the tools and language to communicate about it with trusted adults.  

    This referendum means teaching students in grades K-3 self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills. Parents retain ultimate control under Referendum 90 because the law gives parents at least one-month advance notice to review all materials, and parents may opt their children out of sex education classes. 

    Parents, teachers, and pediatricians know that in states with quality sex education, teens are talking about consent, waiting longer to have sex, avoiding unintended pregnancies, and keeping themselves safe. Vote to "Approve" Referendum 90.

    Referendum 90

    Young people deserve accurate information to help them make good decisions, to protect themselves, and to protect their futures. But today, too many students don’t receive high-quality, inclusive, medically accurate education about sex and healthy relationships, putting them at risk of sexual assault, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections. In particular, students of color are more likely to receive incomplete or incorrect sex education. 

Advisory Vote #32

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 32
  • Legislators passed ESSB 5323 this year, which prohibits the use of thin plastic bags at all retail establishments beginning on January 1, 2021. Thirty-eight municipalities throughout the state have already banned the use of thin bags in stores; bags for damp grocery items and produce bags are exempt from the ban. Paper and thick plastic bags would still be allowed but customers would be subject to an $.08 pass-through charge. People using benefits such as the State Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and other programs will not be subject to this charge.

    This legislation will have tremendous and long-lasting benefits for community, economic, and environmental health. Washington residents use an estimated 2 billion single-use plastic bags every year, which are a huge source of pollution in rivers and oceans, and end up ingested by scores of marine wildlife. Plastic bags also cause significant mechanical and contamination issues at recycling and compost facilities.

    Washington will become the eighth state in the nation to take this step to protect our health and ecosystems. Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 32.

    Advisory Vote 32

    Legislators passed ESSB 5323 this year, which prohibits the use of thin plastic bags at all retail establishments beginning on January 1, 2021. Thirty-eight municipalities throughout the state have already banned the use of thin bags in stores; bags for damp grocery items and produce bags are exempt from the ban. Paper and thick plastic bags would still be allowed but customers would be subject to an $.08 pass-through charge.

Advisory Vote #33

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 33
  • Advisory Vote 33 references SSB 5628, which passed this year. This legislation provides a property tax exemption to heavy equipment rental property when owned by a heavy equipment rental property dealer. Such property includes, but is not limited to, equipment such as earthmovers, dump trucks, and jackhammers. Additionally, beginning on January 1, 2022, a 1.25% heavy equipment rental tax will be levied on heavy equipment rental, to be distributed evenly between the multimodal transportation account and the motor vehicle fund created by the legislation. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and through the House with a mixed majority, 53 to 44. Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 33.

    Advisory Vote 33

    Advisory Vote 33 references SSB 5628, which passed this year. This legislation provides a property tax exemption to heavy equipment rental property when owned by a heavy equipment rental property dealer. Such property includes, but is not limited to, equipment such as earthmovers, dump trucks, and jackhammers. Additionally, beginning on January 1, 2022, a 1.25% heavy equipment rental tax will be levied on heavy equipment rental, to be distributed evenly between the multimodal transportation account and the motor vehicle fund created by the legislation.

Advisory Vote #34

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 34
  • Advisory Vote 34 references ESSB 6492, which establishes the Workforce Education Investment Accountability and Oversight Board, as well as the Workforce Education Investment Account. In 2019, the Legislature made a historic promise to make public colleges more affordable across the state, instituting a business and occupation tax to significantly reduce costs for Washington's students.

    Senate Bill 6492 builds on the 2019 legislation by establishing the seventeen-member board, which will be filled by business leaders, students, labor leaders, and others to provide guidance to the Legislature on which workforce education priorities should be paid for by the fund. The bill also clarifies the complex 2019 legislation to make clear which businesses will be taxed, exempting more than 70,000 small businesses and setting a rate of 1.75% for businesses grossing more than $1 million annually.

    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 34.

    Advisory Vote 34

    Advisory Vote 34 references ESSB 6492, which establishes the Workforce Education Investment Accountability and Oversight Board, as well as the Workforce Education Investment Account. In 2019, the Legislature made a historic promise to make public colleges more affordable across the state, instituting a business and occupation tax to significantly reduce costs for Washington's students.

Advisory Vote #35

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 35
  • ESB 6690, the bill that Advisory Vote 35 references, seeks to bring the state's business and occupation (B&O) tax rate on the aerospace industry in line with the World Trade Organization's ruling. The Legislature originally passed this controversial tax break to incentivize Boeing to keep jobs in the state, though some progressives have since said they regret their vote.

    However, the current B&O tax rate of 0.2904% violates the World Trade Organization's rules. With the support of the aerospace industry, the Legislature repealed the preferential B&O tax for the aerospace industry and brought it back to the regular rate of 0.357%. This change should bring the state and the nation into compliance, and reduces the threat of retaliatory tariffs against Washington industries such as fish, wine, and intellectual property.

    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 35.

    Advisory Vote 35

    ESB 6690, the bill that Advisory Vote 35 references, seeks to bring the state's business and occupation (B&O) tax rate on the aerospace industry in line with the World Trade Organization's ruling. The Legislature originally passed this controversial tax break to incentivize Boeing to keep jobs in the state, though some progressives have since said they regret their vote.

Constitutional Amendment #8212

  • VOTE APPROVED
    Vote APPROVED for Long-Term Care Investments
  • Nearly 70% of adults over the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care, yet 90% are not insured for it. That’s why the Legislature established the Long-Term Care Trust Act in 2019 to address Washington’s long-term care crisis, reducing the burdensome cost of long-term care for hundreds of thousands of Washington families.

    This year, the state House and Senate approved Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution 8212 with overwhelming bipartisan votes of 96-1 and 45-3, respectively. If approved by voters this November, ESJR 8212 would give the Washington State Investment Board more options to responsibly manage Washington's Long-Term Care Trust Fund in order to ensure every elderly Washingtonian can rely on and afford the long-term care services they need, when they need them. 

    By giving the state Investment Board the ability to invest the trust fund, more families in Washington will be able to receive funding for care, with a benefit of up to $36,500 indexed to inflation. The state already invests pensions for frontline workers like teachers, police, and firefighters in this manner, allowing the funds to responsibly grow in value over time. The Long-Term Care Trust is overseen by a trusted, independent commission and will begin paying out benefits in 2025, offering seniors in Washington the care they need.

    Vote to "Approve" ESJR 8212 to make a smart investment in the health of Washingtonians!

    ESJR 8212 Constitutional Amendment

    Nearly 70% of adults over the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care, yet 90% are not insured for it. That’s why the Legislature established the Long-Term Care Trust Act in 2019 to address Washington’s long-term care crisis, reducing the burdensome cost of long-term care for hundreds of thousands of Washington families.

Federal

President

  • Democrat
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has a long track record of public service. He represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009 and then served as President Barack Obama's vice president from 2009 to 2017. His personal history, including losing his eldest son to brain cancer, influenced his agenda and led him to become an advocate for the Affordable Care Act, the signature policy of the Obama administration. 

    After facing numerous progressive challenges in the presidential primary, Biden has shifted his platform to the left for the general election. Some of the hallmark policies of Biden's 2020 platform include supporting a public health care option and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as well as making huge investments in low-income housing assistance and public transit and making community college free. Biden has worked hard with progressive leaders like Sen. Bernie Sanders to unite the Democratic party under what is likely the most progressive party platform in history, though we need to continue pushing him to support bolder proposals like the Green New Deal.

    California Senator Kamala Harris is Biden's vice-presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket. Harris was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 and served as California's attorney general before that. She ran her own campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination this election cycle before ultimately being selected as Biden's running mate in August. Harris made history as both the first Black woman and the first South Asian woman to be nominated for vice president by a major party. As California's first woman attorney general, Harris earned a reputation as a staunch advocate for victims and worked to pass marriage equality as well as protect the Affordable Care Act. In the Senate, Harris has sponsored progressive bills this year such as the Climate Equity Act of 2020, the COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act of 2020, and the RELIEF Act. Harris also gained notice for her willingness to hold former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to account during Senate proceedings.

    Biden's opponent is President Donald Trump, a man whose corrupt, lawless, and destructive track record speaks for itself. The damage that Trump and his administration have done to the public and to our democratic systems will take decades to reverse. Some of the worst moments of his presidency include a catastrophic national coronavirus response, separating thousands of children from parents and locking them in cages, eliminating critical environmental protections on our air and water, stripping healthcare protections for millions, and ramming through a dangerous, conservative Supreme Court nominee to rig the nation's highest court in his favor. 

    While there are legitimate concerns about some aspects of Biden's track record, there is no comparison to Trump's attacks on democratic institutions and the rule of law, his dishonesty, his constant assaults on people of color and religious minorities, and his open embrace of white supremacy. Biden is the clear choice for President of the United States.

    Joe Biden

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has a long track record of public service. He represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009 and then served as President Barack Obama's vice president from 2009 to 2017.

Congress

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.

1st Congressional District

U.S. Representative

2nd Congressional District

U.S. Representative

  • Democrat
  • Rep. Rick Larsen is a moderate Democrat who has been a strong advocate for jobs, transportation, and infrastructure projects in the 2nd District. Before serving in Congress, he served on the Snohomish County Council and worked on economic development for the City of Everett.

    In Congress, Larsen supported the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies and pass the lower drug prices to all Americans. He also voted for the Voting Rights Advancement Act, supported the coronavirus pandemic relief packages, and sought to reform student loans. Unfortunately, Larsen has been less ambitious when it comes to supporting climate change legislation and has accepted political contributions from corporations including Exxon Mobil as recently as last year.

    Larsen's challenger is Republican and Navy veteran Timothy Hazelo, whose is running on a very conservative platform. He has used racist language to describe immigrants and has repeated some of Trump's most dangerous and misleading conspiracy theories. 

    While Larsen is not progressive, he's a reliable Democratic vote and has earned the support of all our progressive partner organizations who chose to endorse in this race.

    Rick Larsen

    Rep. Rick Larsen is a moderate Democrat who has been a strong advocate for jobs, transportation, and infrastructure projects in the 2nd District. Before serving in Congress, he served on the Snohomish County Council and worked on economic development for the City of Everett.

  • Endorsed By: Equal Rights Washington , SEIU 775 , SEIU Healthcare 1199NW , Sierra Club , Teamsters Joint Council 28 , Washington State Labor Council , League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Statewide

Governor

  • Democrat
  • Governor Jay Inslee has been a strong, principled leader on the important challenges facing Washington. Before he was elected as governor in 2012, Inslee represented both sides of the Cascades in Congress, opposed the Iraq war, and worked to increase accountability and oversight for Wall Street banks.

    Inslee has established himself as a national leader on fighting climate change. He has invested more than $170 million into clean energy and energy efficiency projects, implemented the Clean Air Rule, and pushed for legislation that reduces pollution in Washington. In his 2020 bid for the presidency, Inslee brought a focus on climate to the race. Outside of his work on climate, Inslee has signed into law Washington's public option for health care, paid family leave, and the Equal Pay Opportunity Act.

    Recently, Inslee has been a national leader in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. His proactive, decisive, science-driven efforts have saved countless Washingtonians from getting sick. Unfortunately, we've seen the flip side recently where states with governors who were slow or failed to act have seen dramatic increases in cases.

    Inslee's opponent is Republican Loren Culp, the sole police officer of the town of Republic and one of the farthest right of Inslee's main primary challengers. Culp came to national fame for refusing to enforce the voter-approved Initiative 1639, which placed restrictions on semi-automatic firearm sales. Much of Culp's primary and early general election campaign has centered on opposing public health measures like wearing masks. 

    Culp's policy track record is disturbing, especially related to the environment. He recently questioned whether the wildfires that have ravaged the region are climate-related. He's compared gun rights to the Holocaust and likened the governor's stay-home policies to the horrors of Japanese internment during WWII. He faces a lawsuit for failing to investigate a child sex abuse case and for intimidating the victim in a case that was swiftly prosecuted after the county stepped in and took over. 

    As the coronavirus crisis continues and the gap in the state budget persists, we need real, experienced leadership at the helm of the state. Inslee is the clear choice for governor.

    Jay Inslee

    Governor Jay Inslee has been a strong, principled leader on the important challenges facing Washington.

Lt. Governor

  • Democrat
  • Rep. Denny Heck is retiring from Congress and running for Lt. Governor. Heck has had a long, effective career in both the private and public sectors, most notably as a five-term state representative, House majority leader, chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner, and TVW co-founder.

    In Congress, Heck has fought to make college more affordable, lower health care costs, ensure veterans get the benefits they deserve, and create middle-class jobs. He supports immigration policies that create a path to citizenship and worked to help prevent health care premium increases due to Trump's policies. Heck was elected to represent the 10th Congressional District after it was created in 2012 and decided to retire after the impeachment hearings in December 2019.

    His top priorities as Lt. Governor would be reforming our regressive tax system, investing in infrastructure like safe roads and bridges to bolster our economy, and helping people "skill up." In his Fuse interview, he expressed support for police reform and wants to expand on the Electeds For Justice pledge to eliminate qualified immunity for police officers. In addition, Heck said he wants to use the office and his extensive experience to lobby moderate senators on progressive issues.

    Denny Heck

    Rep. Denny Heck is retiring from Congress and running for Lt. Governor. Heck has had a long, effective career in both the private and public sectors, most notably as a five-term state representative, House majority leader, chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner, and TVW co-founder.

Secretary of State

  • Former Port Commissioner and progressive state Rep. Gael Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State to serve as the state's chief elections officer, among other roles. First elected to the Legislature in 2012, Tarleton has been a strong advocate for environmental causes such as Governor Jay Inslee's initiative to reduce carbon pollution. She sponsored bills during her first term in the House to strengthen the maritime industry, improve access to health care, and ensure gender pay equity.

    Tarleton is running for Secretary of State to expand access to voting in Washington while safeguarding our elections against "foreign and domestic" attacks. She wants to improve digital security and increase funding for county auditors to protect local elections from hacking attempts in the wake of the 2016 election. She would also expand audits of the state and local systems to identify any weaknesses that could be exploited.

    Tarleton is challenging incumbent Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who has faced a bumpy road during her time in office. Last year, Wyman's office released a new $9.5 million voter registration database that was riddled with errors and led to a backlog of tens of thousands of registrations. King County elections director Julie Wise described the release as "irresponsible" and "not even functioning." In addition, Wyman was slow to support the Washington Voting Rights Act, same-day voter registration, and postage-paid ballots.

    We need a progressive leader in the Secretary of State's office who is fully committed to protecting our elections and removing every barrier to participation in our democracy. Tarleton is the clear progressive choice in this race.

    Gael Tarleton

    Former Port Commissioner and progressive state Rep. Gael Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State to serve as the state's chief elections officer, among other roles.

State Treasurer

State Auditor

  • Washington Auditor Pat McCarthy has been a consistent advocate for government transparency and accountability during her first term in office. Previously, she served as Pierce County executive and Pierce County auditor, where she was honored as the 2006 Washington State Auditor of the Year.

    McCarthy announced that her office has opened two independent audits of the Employment Security Department. The first will investigate the delay in unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second audit will look into how criminals stole hundreds of millions of dollars through a sophisticated fraud scheme.

    McCarthy is facing a challenge from Republican Chris Leyba, a detective with limited audit experience related to this role. Leyba has expressed some very conservative viewpoints during the campaign, including opposition to stronger campaign finance laws, disagreeing with basic law enforcement reforms, and supporting Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic response.   

    McCarthy's experience and commitment to oversight will be valuable as the state works to emerge from the pandemic and the recession. McCarthy is the best choice in this race.

    Pat McCarthy

    Washington Auditor Pat McCarthy has been a consistent advocate for government transparency and accountability during her first term in office. Previously, she served as Pierce County executive and Pierce County auditor, where she was honored as the 2006 Washington State Auditor of the Year.

Attorney General

Commissioner of Public Lands

Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Non-Partisan
  • Chris Reykdal is running for re-election to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to continue his leadership of our state's public schools through this challenging time. Previously, Reykdal spent 14 years serving on local school boards and in leadership positions at community and technical colleges, as well as serving 6 years in the Legislature. In the state House, Reykdal had a strong progressive voting record and was a consistent champion for public schools.

    In his first term as superintendent, Reykdal has pushed the Legislature to fully fund K-12 education, increase teacher pay, and close the opportunity gap for students of color. More recently, Reykdal has worked closely with Gov. Inslee to help Washington schools navigate the pandemic. He made the tough decision early to close schools for the year in order to keep kids and families safe and to slow the spread of COVID-19. If re-elected, Reykdal will continue to advocate for these priorities and work with schools across the state as they make the transition back to in-person education.

    Reykdal is facing former Republican legislative candidate Maia Espinoza. Espinoza is a school music teacher and a former legislative liaison to the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs. She was motivated to run by her opposition to comprehensive sexual health education and gained attention by publishing a false and inflammatory voters' pamphlet statement attacking Reykdal. In addition, an Associated Press investigation found that Espinoza provided false or misleading descriptions of her own education and the organization she leads. As of mid-September, Espinoza is also dangerously pushing for classrooms to re-open fully for in-person learning, despite mass outbreaks at schools and universities across the country.

    Reykdal is the clear choice for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    Chris Reykdal

    Chris Reykdal is running for re-election to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to continue his leadership of our state's public schools through this challenging time.

Insurance Commissioner

  • Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has spent his entire career serving the people of Washington. Prior to running for statewide office, Kreidler was a doctor of optometry, a state legislator, and a member of Congress.

    As insurance commissioner, Kreidler has been a consistent advocate for consumers and patients in overseeing insurance companies in Washington. Kreidler set up one of the first and most effective Affordable Care Act exchanges in the country, helping expand access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians. More recently, Kreidler moved quickly to issue an emergency order requiring insurance companies to waive copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and office visits. In addition, he forced insurance companies to allow consumers to access other health providers if they did not have an in-network option for testing.

    Kreidler is opposed by Republican Chirayu Avinash Patel, an insurance agent and biochemistry student at the University of Washington. He states that he wants to model the office of the insurance commissioner based on a hybrid of the Ronald Reagan and Thomas Jefferson administrations. Patel has no campaign website and does not appear to be running a credible bid for office.

    Kreidler has earned your vote for re-election to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

    Mike Kreidler

    Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has spent his entire career serving the people of Washington. Prior to running for statewide office, Kreidler was a doctor of optometry, a state legislator, and a member of Congress.

Legislative Races

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

40th Legislative District

State Senator

State Representative, Position #1

State Representative, Position #2

42nd Legislative District

State Representative, Position #1

State Representative, Position #2

State Supreme Court

Position #3

  • Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis is running to retain Position 3 on the Washington State Supreme Court. Montoya-Lewis was originally appointed to the state Supreme Court in December 2019 by Gov. Inslee to replace Justice Mary Fairhurst. As a member of the Pueblo of Isleta tribe and the first Native American justice in Washington - and second in the nation - to serve on a state Supreme Court, Montoya-Lewis believes that representation on the bench matters.

    Previously, Montoya-Lewis served on the Whatcom County Superior Court and as chief judge for a number of Indian tribes. She has spent much of her career on juvenile justice work and as a staunch advocate for communities who have historically been excluded from representation in the judicial system. In her short tenure on the court, Montoya-Lewis has been a thoughtful and engaged member who has earned the support of many respected judicial leaders and other progressive organizations. However, some progressives have expressed concern about a decision she wrote recently where she sided against nurses who had been deprived of guaranteed workplace protections. 

    Also in this race is Judge Dave Larson, a Federal Way Municipal Court judge who also ran for a state Supreme Court seat in 2016. Larson was heavily supported by corporate PACs in his previous campaign and he espouses a conservative judicial philosophy focused on a narrow interpretation of the law.

    Raquel Montoya-Lewis deserves your vote in this race.

    Raquel Montoya-Lewis

    Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis is running to retain Position 3 on the Washington State Supreme Court. Montoya-Lewis was originally appointed to the state Supreme Court in December 2019 by Gov. Inslee to replace Justice Mary Fairhurst.

Position #4

  • Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson is running to retain his seat in Position 4 of the Washington State Supreme Court. As the longest-serving justice on the court, having sat on the bench for nearly three decades, Johnson has proven time and again his judicial integrity, accountability, and impartiality.

    During his time on the state Supreme Court, Johnson has consistently supported civil rights and equitable representation. He co-chaired the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission for 24 years and also served as co-chair for the 2004 Task Force on Civil Equal Justice Funding. On the bench, Johnson has opposed bias in judicial proceedings, joining the rest of the state Supreme Court this June in an open letter vowing to "administer justice and support court rules in a way that brings greater racial justice to our system as a whole."

    Johnson is running unopposed for re-election to Position 4. With a commitment to justice for all Washingtonians, he has earned your vote.

    Charles Johnson

    Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson is running to retain his seat in Position 4 of the Washington State Supreme Court.

Position #6

  • Justice G. Helen Whitener is running to retain her position on Washington's Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Supreme Court this April by Gov. Jay Inslee. Prior to her appointment, she served on the Pierce County Superior Court, the Pierce County District Court a Pro Tem judge, and the City of Tacoma Municipal Court, after working for 14 years as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

    Whitener has been rated as "exceptionally well-qualified" by a wide slate of bar associations and has earned an endorsement from every current Supreme Court Justice as well as several past justices. Notably, she is the first Black woman to sit on the state's Supreme Court, and as an immigrant from Trinidad and an openly gay justice, she brings new perspectives to the state's highest court. While serving on the bench, she has made a point to continue to interact with the community, teaching a civics course at Tacoma's Lincoln High School.

    She is running against Richard S. Serns, a school superintendent who filed for office just weeks after passing the bar exam this spring. While he has no experience as a lawyer or judge, he states that his history of working with public records requests and privacy laws is preparation enough to serve as a justice.

    Whitener is the clear choice for State Supreme Court Justice, Position 6.

    G. Helen Whitener

    Justice G. Helen Whitener is running to retain her position on Washington's Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Supreme Court this April by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Position #7

  • Chief Justice Debra L. Stephens was first appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2008 by Gov. Christine Gregoire after many years of public service and was unanimously elected by her colleagues in 2019 to serve as the 57th Chief Justice of the state's highest court. She spent a decade serving students on the school board and mentored at-risk high school students as well as students at Gonzaga University. Stephens is also the first woman from Eastern Washington to serve on the Supreme Court. She has been rated "exceptionally well-qualified" by numerous legal groups and endorsed by a number of progressives.

    Stephens is running unopposed this year and has earned your vote.

    Debra L. Stephens

    Chief Justice Debra L. Stephens was first appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2008 by Gov.

Whatcom County Superior Court

Whatcom County Superior Court Judge, Position #2

  • James Erb is running for Whatcom County Superior Court, Judge Position 2. Erb has spent the last 10 years in the Bellingham City Attorney's Office and tried nearly 50 jury trials as a prosecutor. He also represented the Nooksack Indian Tribe in both state and tribal court. In this race, Erb has been endorsed by members of the county's Superior Court as well as justices on the state Supreme Court.

    Erb is focusing his campaign on finding ways to safely reduce and prevent incarceration as well as to provide equal access to justice to everyone. He has been rated "Well Qualified" for the position by a number of minority bar associations including the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, the QLaw Association of Washington, and the Washington State Veterans Bar Association.

    Also in this race is Evan Jones, a training deputy for the Whatcom County Prosecutor's Office. Jones has worked in the Bellingham City Attorney's Office as well as in the district, juvenile, and superior court systems. He is heavily endorsed by Republicans who have helped him raise campaign funds.

    Erb's experience and support from local progressive advocates make him the best choice in this race.

    James Erb

    James Erb is running for Whatcom County Superior Court, Judge Position 2. Erb has spent the last 10 years in the Bellingham City Attorney's Office and tried nearly 50 jury trials as a prosecutor. He also represented the Nooksack Indian Tribe in both state and tribal court.

  • Endorsed By: Whatcom County Democrats
    Bar Association Ratings: Latina/o Bar Association: Well Qualified, QLaw (The LGBTQ+ Bar Association): Well Qualified, Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee: Well Qualified

Whatcom County Superior Court Judge, Position #4

  • Judge David Freeman is running to retain his seat on the Whatcom Superior Court in Position 4. Freeman was originally appointed to the seat by Governor Inslee earlier this year in order to fill the spot left by Justice Montoya-Lewis, who joined the state's Supreme Court. 

    Before joining the Superior Court, Freeman worked as a judge pro tem serving all Whatcom municipalities and as a Pro Tem commissioner for the Superior Court. He has earned the support of many judicial leaders in the county. Additionally, Freeman has been rated "Exceptionally Well Qualified" by a number of minority bar associations including the Loren Miller Bar Association, the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, and the QLaw Association of Washington.

    Jim Nelson is challenging Freeman in this race. Nelson has spent more than 31 years as a practicing attorney across Washington, including work as a prosecutor for Snohomish and Skagit Counties. He believes in impartial and independent judicial decision-making.

    Freeman is a great judge with strong community support and the experience needed to serve Whatcom residents well on the bench. He has earned your vote to be retained.

    David Freeman

    Judge David Freeman is running to retain his seat on the Whatcom Superior Court in Position 4. Freeman was originally appointed to the seat by Governor Inslee earlier this year in order to fill the spot left by Justice Montoya-Lewis, who joined the state's Supreme Court. 

  • Bar Association Ratings: Whatcom County Bar Association: Exceptionally Well Qualified, Loren Miller Bar Association: Exceptionally Well Qualified, the Latina/o Bar Association Of Washington: Exceptionally Well Qualified, and QLaw Association of Washington: Exceptionally Well Qualified

Public Utility District 1(Whatcom County PUD)

Commissioner, District 1

  • Christine Grant is challenging incumbent Jeffrey McClure to become the first woman commissioner of Public Utility District (PUD) 1 of Whatcom County. Grant is a first-time candidate who has spent 12 years becoming an industry expert, consulting for rural electric cooperatives, utilities, and government agencies. She also serves on the board of directors for Spark Northwest.

    Grant is running to modernize the policy objectives of Whatcom's PUD. Specifically, she wants to build long-overdue infrastructure for accessible and widespread internet, guarantee affordable electricity, and integrate sustainability and stewardship into PUD projects. Grant has earned a number of notable endorsements from progressive organizations and leaders.

    Incumbent commissioner and architect Jeffrey McClure has held a position on the Whatcom Public Utility District since 2008. McClure has been a diligent member of the Whatcom PUD. However, as we face a climate crisis and the economic opportunity that it presents, we need bold and innovative leaders to keep our county competitive and our rates low.

    Christine Grant will fight for the progressive change that Whatcom needs from its public utility district. She is the best choice in this race and deserves your vote.

    Christine Grant

    Submitted by alexwhite on Mon, 10/05/2020 - 15:34

    Christine Grant is challenging incumbent Jeffrey McClure to become the first woman commissioner of Public Utility District (PUD) 1 of Whatcom County. Grant is a first-time candidate who has spent 12 years becoming an industry expert, consulting for rural electric cooperatives, utilities, and government agencies. She also serves on the board of directors for Spark Northwest.

    Grant is running to modernize the policy objectives of Whatcom's PUD. Specifically, she wants to build long-overdue infrastructure for accessible and widespread internet, guarantee affordable electricity, and integrate sustainability and stewardship into PUD projects. Grant has earned a number of notable endorsements from progressive organizations and leaders.

    Incumbent commissioner and architect Jeffrey McClure has held a position on the Whatcom Public Utility District since 2008. McClure has been a diligent member of the Whatcom PUD. However, as we face a climate crisis and the economic opportunity that it presents, we need bold and innovative leaders to keep our county competitive and our rates low.

    Christine Grant will fight for the progressive change that Whatcom needs from its public utility district. She is the best choice in this race and deserves your vote.

Bellingham Ballot Measures

Bellingham City Proposition #2020-14

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES on Proposition 2020-14
  • A huge part of creating safe and healthy cities is achieving mobility for all. Proposition 2020-14 asks voters to renew their support for the Bellingham Transportation Fund at the same rate of 0.002 percent on taxable retail in the city. This would not be a new tax but would maintain the current rate on purchases to continue to provide needed upgrades in Bellingham.

    First passed by voters in 2010, the fund has helped make many important improvements to the city's infrastructure. Projects have included 46 miles of repaired and maintained streets, bikeway improvements, improved accessibility for people with disabilities, and expanded sidewalks and crossings, with over 70 percent of all pedestrian improvements and more than 75 percent of bike improvements focused in lower-income neighborhoods. Matching funds through state and federal grants have helped stretch the investments. Continuing the levy also allows the city to better implement the Climate Action Plan by funding the needs of the electric bus fleet and other clean energy transportation projects.

    Keep Bellingham moving and continue to invest in current and future transportation benefits for all who live, work, and visit by voting "Yes" on Bellingham Proposition 2020-14.

    Bellingham, City Proposition 2020-14

    A huge part of creating safe and healthy cities is achieving mobility for all. Proposition 2020-14 asks voters to renew their support for the Bellingham Transportation Fund at the same rate of 0.002 percent on taxable retail in the city. This would not be a new tax but would maintain the current rate on purchases to continue to provide needed upgrades in Bellingham.