Voters must choose top two county executive, sheriff candidates

Published on Wed, Aug 3, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Ballots have gone out, and voters must now choose their top two candidates in two countywide races. The positions of county executive and sheriff are both up for grabs.

Voters in Bellingham and Ferndale will also narrow their mayoral races down to the top two candidates.

Primary ballots were mailed out July 29 and are due back to the county courthouse or an official election drop box by August 16. A drop box will be located at Blaine city hall.

Four candidates are running for county executive with the current office holder, Pete Kremen, forgoing the executive race for a county council position. The county executive candidates are:

Tom Anderson: Anderson earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington. He served two years in the Peace Corps as a hospital maintenance engineer and 16 years as the general manager of Whatcom County Public Utility District 1.

Doug Ericksen: Ericksen was elected as Washington state senator for the 42nd legislative district last year. He previously served as one of the state representatives from the 42nd district. He has served in public office a total of 15 years. He earned a bachelor of arts in government from Cornell University and a master of arts in environmental policy from Western Washington University.

Jack Louws: Louws served as the mayor of Lynden for eight years and has owned Louws Truss for 20 years. His father, John Louws, was the first Whatcom County executive and was elected in 1979.

David Stalheim: Stalheim was appointed Whatcom County planning director in 2008 and began working for the city of Bellingham in 2010. He has served in the planning departments in Ashland, Oregon, and Wenatchee, Washington.

Three candidates, including incumbent Bill Elfo, are running for Whatcom County sheriff. The candidates are:

Bill Elfo:
Elfo was first elected Whatcom County sheriff in 2003 and again in 2007. Elfo holds a bachelor of science and a master of science degree in criminal justice and a juris doctor. Before being elected sheriff, he was police chief for the city of Blaine.

Steve Harris:
Harris has been a Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy for 16 years, with eight years as a detective.

Bob Taylor: Taylor has been a Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy for the last 11 years. He has a bachelor of arts in business administration and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.