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Election results so far leave 1 city council contest undecided

Ballot drop box located in the Ferndale City Hall parking lot (February 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

After several days of receiving and counting ballots, the Whatcom County Elections Division is reporting sufficient leads to confidently declare victors in all but 1 local political race.

Ferndale City Council position 4 remains a tough call given that, as of today’s updated ballot count, shows a difference of 2 votes out of 3,842 votes counted. The incumbent, Teresa N. Taylor, is 2 votes short in her contest with political newcomer Paul Shuey. If this lack of a spread continues, a recount will be required. Any race with less than a 0.5% vote count difference is required by law to undergo a manual recount. The race can be determined by a difference of 1 or more votes in the end.

The Taylor-Shuey race might not be so close except for the fact it attracted an unusually high number of write-in votes. There 64 so far tallied compared with the other council races that range from 6 to 15 write-ins each.

Other close races are actually come from behind stories.

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Ferndale City Council Position 2 saw a change in the lead since the initial ballot count on election day. Position 2 has 2 political newcomers vying for the opportunity to represent on the council dais. Ali Hawkinson was behind in the initial vote count and Paul Bulanov had the lead, a meager lead but still it was a lead. That lead has fizzled away with each daily update and now it appears Hawkinson can be declared the winner with a lead of 33 vote lead out of a total of 4,363 votes.

At the County level races, the competition to replace retiring Keith Willnauer as County Assessor has been too close to call until just recently. Current Ferndale City Council member Rebecca Xczar was following behind John Romaker in the initial tally on election night. But she has seen a slow pickup in votes and it now appears she can be declared the winner with a lead of nearly 1,393 votes out of a total of 72,861 counted.

The apparent winners in the other races are as follows:


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  • Whatcom County Executive – Satpal Sidhu
  • Whatcom County Council-District 4 – Kathy Kershner
  • Whatcom County Council-District 5 – Ben Elenbaas
  • Whatcom County Council-District-At Large – Carol Frazey
  • Whatcom County Sheriff – Bill Elfo


  • Ferndale Mayor – Greg Hansen
  • Ferndale City Council–Position 1 – Herb Porter
  • Ferndale City Council–Position 2 – Ali Hawkinson
  • Ferndale City Council–Position 3 – Erin Gunter
  • Ferndale City Council–Position 4 – Paul Shuey ??? Teresa N. Taylor ???
  • Ferndale City Council–Position 5 – Ryan O’Larey
  • Ferndale City Council–Position 7 – Ramon Llanos


  • WCFD7 Commissioner-Position 3 – Mike Murphy


  • Port of Bellingham Commissioner-District 3 – Robert (Bobby) Briscoe

Election results will not be certified as final until Tuesday, November 26th.

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