Pontifications and Postulations
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
The Aug. 6 primary election is over and the campaign smoke has temporarily cleared. Here are a few of my blatantly opinionated and highly subjective observations.
The Executive Suite: In the County Executive race Satpal Sidhu and Tony Larson will face off in November. Sidhu, who is arguably the best -ualified candidate to ever seek this office, should then get most of the votes that went to Karen Burke and Jim Boyle, thus enabling him to make short work of the ethically questionable Larson. First-time candidate Karen Burke was very impressive. She has a lot to offer and hopefully she’ll take another try at elective office someday.
The Mayor’s Chair: Seth Fleetwood came out in first place in the Bellingham mayoral primary, despite a campaign that was so low-key it was almost invisible. Seth is not known as a flashy guy. Intelligent? Progressive? Visionary? Yes. Flashy? Not so much. Fleetwood’s opponent will be one-term City Council member April Barker. She’s certainly a perkier campaigner than Seth, but in comparing experience, talents and knowledge, if this were a pugilistic event it would be considered a mismatch.
The Senator’s Seat: Incumbent Liz Lovelett (D) will face off against perennial candidate Dan Miller (R) in the 40th Legislative District senate race, a contest that Miller doesn’t stand the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Lovelett has been a quick study and an effective senator. Miller, who wears a hat that might have been borrowed from Chico Marx, explores scientific views possibly channeled from an alternative universe, doesn’t appear to know much about the issues, and composed a statement for the voters’ pamphlet that is an affront to literacy. His main concern seems to be an aversion to paying taxes. His role in the election will be to provide comic relief.
Ward Wallopings: Bellingham’s two City Council races were lopsided drubbings. In the third ward contest it’s unlikely that A. Monts-Treviska can overcome Dan Hammill’s 63 percent showing in the primary. In the at-large race things look equally bleak for Dana Briggs, who came in second to Hollie Huthman’s 67 percent. Hammill and Huthman are definitely the best choices, but high-fives to Monts-Treviska and Briggs for putting themselves out there and giving it a shot.
Foregone Conclusion: Kathy Kershner racked up a 68 percent win in County Council District 4, where just being a Republican is the key to victory. She is all but certain to win the general election, barring some sort of scandalous revelation that might hurt her in this powerfully red region, such as being spotted reading The Nation magazine or volunteering at Planned Parenthood.
Pretty Close to a Foregone Conclusion: In the County Council At-Large race it would be surprising if David Ramirez could catch up with the incumbent Carol Frazey, who is head-and-shoulders the better choice. Even if Ramirez got all the votes that went to disgraced dropout Brett Bonner and clown car candidate Bill LaFreniere he’d still be a long way off. LaFreniere should get a special award for being the most entertaining candidate, passing along such gems as “Socialists are trying to control our State and Country… all we have will be property of the state.” He also warned that the social security system is going to collapse because of illegal immigrants. Undocumented workers cannot, of course, receive social security, even though many pay into it. Anyway, Bill, I’ll miss you. I can’t make up stuff this good.
Mr. Cranky Roots for the Underdog: Speaking of saying stupid things, that brings me to Ben Elenbaas who came out on top in the District 5. Ben said, “Activists say we can’t have clean water and agriculture. They say we can’t have clean air and thriving industries.” Really? I’m an activist and I’ve never said that. I don’t know or know of any activist who’s ever said that. Ben is the only one who said it and it’s dumb. Ben also says he’ll restore balance to local government, although much of the reason he was on the Charter Review Commission appeared to be to unbalance future county council elections in ways that would be advantageous to his views. Ben’s opponent, Natalie McClendon, actually would bring a more balanced and nuanced perspective to the council. She has an uphill battle, but hope springs eternal.
The next couple of months will be entertaining, and I’ll certainly have more to add as we get closer to November. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer.
Alan Rhodes can be reached at mr_cranky @cascadiaweekly.com