Incumbent Republicans to face vigorous Democratic challenge in District 42

By Stefanie Donahue

Initial primary election vote tallies indicate that incumbent Republicans serving three legislative positions in District 42 will face Democratic challengers in the general election this November.

Incumbent state senator Doug Ericksen (R) will likely compete against Pinky Vargas (D) in the general. According to a vote count released on August 7, the day of the election, Ericksen received 12,847 votes (46 percent), Vargas received 8,132 (29 percent) and Tim Ballew II (D) received 7,074 (25 percent).

Ericksen has served the position since 2010 and was last re-elected in 2014. Vargas is a senior business accounts manager at Puget Sound Energy and is a Bellingham City Councilmember serving the fourth ward.

Both Republican incumbents running for state representative positions received fewer votes than their Democratic challengers.

Incumbent state representative Luanne Van Werven (R) and challenger Justin Boneau (D) are posed to run against one another in the general. Boneau received 14,179 votes (51 percent) and Werven received 12,331 (44 percent). A third candidate, Dean Berkeley (R), received 1,429 votes (5 percent). For position 2, incumbent Vincent Buys (R) will run against Sharon Shewmake (D) in the general. Shewmake received 14,662 votes (53 percent) and Buys received 13,260 votes (48 percent).

Mike Peetoom, a Custer resident, and Carol Frazey are set to compete for the at-large position on the Whatcom County Council, which serves a one-year term.

Frazey received 16,172 votes (43 percent) and Peetoom received 9,161 votes (24 percent). Aaron Thomas received 7,143 votes (19 percent) and Eric Bostrom received 5,578 votes (15 percent).

Peetoom is on the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce board of directors; he and his wife Christie own Mike Peetoom Construction and Infinity Dance Company.

In congressional races, incumbent Suzan DelBene (D) received 64,299 votes (60 percent) and will run in District 1 against Jeffrey Beeler (R) who received 26,761 votes (25 percent). Incumbent U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D) received 573,017 votes (55 percent) and will run against Susan Hutchison (R) who received 246,296 votes (24 percent).

In Whatcom County,  41,641 ballots were counted on August 7 with about 5,000 remaining.

For the latest results, visit OR

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