By Lance Henderson
With 31,885 votes counted out of 116,410 registered voters, some candidates have pulled ahead, while the fate of others has been sealed. The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office will continue to count ballots throughout the week and results should be finalized by Sept. 2. All results are unofficial until then.
In the race for Barbara Ryan’s Ward 6 seat on the Bellingham City Council, Michael Lilliquist looks like he will walk into the general election with 1,171 votes (47.95 percent). It is still too close to call who his opponent will be because they are separated by only 63 votes. Candidate Catherine Chambers has widened her lead to 667 votes (27.31 percent) while Christopher Morrison has pulled in 604 votes (24.73 percent).
In the Port of Bellingham commissioner District 1 race, John Blethen is maintaining a considerable lead over incumbent and current Port Commission President Scott Walker. Blethen so far has earned 5,064 votes (52.01 percent) with Walker trailing with 3,446 votes (35.39 percent). Ham Hayes has earned only 1,226 votes (12.59 percent).
In the District 2 Port commissioner race, newcomer Mike McAuley and incumbent Doug Smith are now running the tightest race with only 39 votes separating them. McAuley has 3,684 votes (38.09 percent) and Smith has earned 3,645 votes (37.68 percent). Candidate Doug Karlberg is bringing up the rear with 2,344 votes (24.23 percent).
For the Whatcom County Council At-Large position, challenger Bill Knutzen and County Council veteran Laurie Caskey-Schreiber are still running a tight race, but Knutzen has leapfrogged her to take the lead. Caskey-Schreiber so far has earned 13,659 votes (44.04 percent), while Knutzen has received 14,124 votes (45.54 percent). Candidate Dave Pros will likely not go on with 3,229 votes (10.41 percent).
The next primary election totals will be posted by the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office at noon on Aug. 28. The Bellingham Business Journal will continue to update election results as they become available.