(The Center Square) – Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu was leading business executive Dan Purdy in Tuesday night’s general election vote count, according to preliminary results from the Whatcom County Election Division.
Sidhu, seeking a second term, had more than 55% of the vote and Purdy had just over 44%.
While the race is nonpartisan, Sidhu is endorsed on the Whatcom Democrats’ website. The Whatcom County Republican Party endorses Purdy on its website.
The incumbent personifies the “American Dream.” Sidhu was born in India and immigrated to the U.S. from Canada. The Lynden resident has an MBA and bachelor of science degree in physics, math and engineering and is a Fulbright scholar who speaks four languages.
Sidhu has indicated he would focus on housing and expanding mental health treatment services in a second term.
Longtime entrepreneur Purdy says he wants to run the county like a business.
He brings decades of corporate experience to the race in the form of working remotely from Lynden as director of partnerships for the Inc. 5000 advisory firm Cultivate Advisors. Per his campaign website, Purdy has a master’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University, and has a quarter-century of experience in business, including working for BP and Hewlett-Packard.
The four-year Whatcom County Executive position is the equivalent of a CEO and includes developing a budget, managing various departments and executing public policy as set by the Whatcom County Council.
Three positions on the Whatcom County Council are up for grabs this election.
District 4 incumbent Kathy Kershner, a retired U.S. Navy officer who earned a bachelor’s degree in family resources from the University of Hawaii, was losing to challenger Mark Stremler, a former fourth-generation dairy farmer who now works for the county public works department’s road crew.
Stremler had more than 52% of the vote to Kershner’s just over 47% of the vote, according to preliminary election results.
Kershner is serving her second term on the council, having served previously from 2010 to 2014.
In the District 5 race, incumbent Ben Elenbaas, a Custer farmer and a refinery worker at BP Cherry Point, was handily beating back challenger Jackie Dexter, a Blaine resident who serves on the county’s Marine Resource Committee.
Elenbaas garnered nearly 61% of the vote, while Dexter got just over 39%.
In the At-Large Position B contest, Jon Scanlon is leading Hannah Ordos by a vote of just over 55% to nearly 45%.
Incumbent Carol Frazey is not seeking reelection.
Scanlon is on the board of local environmental group RE Sources and works as a consultant for conservation and native-led organizations, and Ordos is a customer support manager for a nutritional supplement company.
Washington conducts all-mail ballot elections. People were able to drop off ballots until 8 p.m. Tuesday.