Rep. Sharon Shewmake, who currently serves the district in House Position 2, is running for state Senate. She is a professor at Western Washington University, a member of Bellingham’s Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association, and an active union member. Her background in agricultural economics paired with her progressive values have made her an effective representative for residents of the 42nd Legislative District.
Shewmake’s top priorities for the Senate include investing in good schools, living-wage jobs, clean air and water, a productive local farm industry, and safe communities. This year, she sponsored a number of commonsense bills focused on protecting marine habitats, promoting cleaner business standards, and working towards greater social equity in our state. Shewmake also wants to make sure that all residents can access prescription medication and health care services, including the freedom to make personal reproductive health decisions.
Shewmake is challenging MAGA Republican Sen. Simon Sefzik, who was appointed to take over Sen. Doug Ericksen’s seat when the late incumbent died of COVID-19 last December. Prior to being appointed to the state Senate at age 22, Sefzik served as an intern at the White House during the last year of the Trump administration.
Since joining the Senate, Sefzik has minimized the real issues facing our communities and used his platform to promote divisive and extreme positions. Though he lists living affordability as a top concern in this race, Sefzik and his Republican colleagues oppose funding services that help working Washingtonians afford groceries, gas, rent, and prescription medication. He also sponsored short-sighted legislation that would have cut funding for badly needed transportation projects in Whatcom County and across the state.
Whatcom County Councilmember Ben Elenbaas is a fellow Republican challenging Sefzik for this seat. Outside of the Legislature, he works in the agricultural industry. Even though working Washingtonians are struggling to pay bills and afford health care, Elenbaas wants to prioritize industry and corporations in the Senate, especially oil interests in the region. He also says he would throw our neighbors without stable housing into jails and prisons instead of investing in community programs so that we can all have our basic needs met.
Sharon Shewmake has spent the last three years working to make Legislative District 42 a place where everyone has the chance to thrive. She is the clear choice in this race for Washington’s state Senate.