With filing week fast approaching, this is the time for everyone to begin their campaigns. In rapid succession, various candidates have announced their candidacy for election or reelection. As I mentioned earlier, this is going to be a fiercely fought campaign and we here at The Political Junkie will do our best to provide you with the best, most in depth coverage available of the Whatcom County Council races.
First up, entrepreneur Rud Browne declared his run for the At-Large seat against incumbent Bill Knutzen. Rud Browne recently sold the company he built from the ground up, Ryzex, and it is still one of the largest employers in Whatcom County. Browne has been heavily involved in county politics for the last couple of years. He served on the ethics commission that, in 2010, ruled on whether Ward Nelson broke any rules in stonewalling everyone but himself as Bob Kelly’s replacement (confused? Read here). He also lobbied the County Council in support of the reconveyance, drafting a great editorial in the Herald urging approval.
Now he is taking his business acumen and insight to the County Council. His kickoff is tomorrow, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Mt. Baker Theater Encore Room (around the corner from The Table). I will be there, and hopefully interview Browne about his views at some later date.
Browne, despite the perception about businessmen running for office, totes a long list of Democratic endorsements.
On the other side of the spectrum, Republican Kathy Kershner declared that she is running for reelection. No one has declared to run against her yet. In the past two years, she has served as council chair and been at the center of many struggles. She had voiced criticism of the reconveyance in the past and voted several times to delay the decision on it until it was clear it had the votes to pass, then she voted to support it.
Update: Kathy Kershner called me to clarify that she does not remember voting against the Reconveyance at any point, only voting to “give the community more time to look it over”.
Last year, she was a national Republican delegate for Romney and has been heavily involved in Republican party politics for the last four years. She cut an ad endorsing Vincent Buys and did a number of Republican fundraisers. Which is why I was so surprised to see Ralph Schwartz‘ article in the Herald describing her as an “independent-minded Republican.” If I ran for office, with my long record of Democratic party politics, would I be described as an “independent-minded Democrat”?
Aside from the Herald’s unusual choice of headlines, this race has yet to draw a challenger, but in my mind, this will be one of the most interesting races. You can read my long interview I did with Kershner last year here.
In other news, Bill Knutzen and Carl Weimer both declared their run for reelection, as well as Weimer’s former challenger Michelle Luke. I will be profiling them in a couple days.