Washington state senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) has decided to run for the Whatcom County Executive position.
The announcement comes two weeks after current county executive Pete Kremen declared he would not seek re-election due to health issues. Ericksen was elected to the senate last year after serving as a state representative for the 42nd legislative district.
“After long conversations with my family, friends and community leaders, I have decided to seek the position of Whatcom County Executive,” Ericksen said in a press release. “Our county is at a crossroads. After devoting 15 years to helping our communities at the state level, local residents are encouraging me to bring my experience and leadership home to help move Whatcom County forward.”
Ericksen joins former Whatcom Public Utility District 1 general manager Thomas Anderson and former Lynden mayor and Birch Bay resident Jack Louws in the race for county executive.
Closer to home, Blaine resident Jim Jorgenson is running for re-election as Port of Bellingham commissioner. A former teacher and businessman, Jorgenson has served two four-year terms.
“It’s important for us as commissioners to make personal contacts at community gatherings throughout the county,” he said. “We need to keep the public informed and at the same time tap into the concerns and ideas that the community has to offer,” he continued.
Whatcom County Councilmember Barbara Brenner has also announced she is running for re-election. Brenner is one of the two district three representatives whose district includes Birch Bay, Blaine and Point Roberts.
Brenner said, “I am running for re-election because I am as passionately determined to protect people and the public purse as ever, maybe even more so. I obsessively research details and have a strong gut feeling regarding right and wrong.”
She continued, saying, “I am a good fit for the council because I pick apart everything and always share what I find. That is not always easy for council members, many of whom are part-time and usually have other jobs. I closed my business to be able to focus more than full-time on county issues.”
The filing deadline for any county elected position is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10.