July 21, 2019 Sandy Robson
There is one Democratic candidate listed on the primary ballot in this At-Large position race, Carol Frazey, and I believe she is definitely the best choice. There are also three conservative candidates listed on the ballot: Brett Bonner, Bill LaFreniere, and David Ramirez.
Carol Frazey is currently serving on the County Council and I have appreciated a number of her votes on various issues such as when she voted to approve the temporary moratorium on the acceptance and processing of applications and permits for new or expanded facilities in the Cherry Point UGA, the primary purpose of which would be the shipment of unrefined fossil fuels not to be processed at Cherry Point. She is endorsed by the Washington Conservation Voters, Whatcom Democrats, 42nd LD Democrats, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington State, the Riveters Collective, and numerous other organizations.
—Brett Bonner, who, over the years has been a well-known, local Republican operative and who is the former Vice Chair of the Whatcom Republican Party (until resigning earlier this year), suspended his campaign back in May after it was reported in a May 28, 2019 Bellingham Herald article that he admittedly sexually harassed a young woman on Facebook. The article reported that Bonner said he was “blackout drunk” and sexually harassed a Whatcom County woman online. Bonner is 55 years old, and the young woman is 23 years old. Bonner suspended his primary campaign for the council’s at-large seat, and told the Herald that he won’t actively seek the post. Bonner had an opportunity to tell voters, via the Herald, not to cast any votes for him, and that he has no intention to serve in the county executive position, although he did not do that. So, it appears he is leaving open the potential to be a candidate in the general election if he should make it through the primary.
—Bill LaFreniere’s candidate statement published in the 2019 Whatcom County voter’s pamphlet included an anti-immigration remark, anti-union commentary, and he said that “Socialists are trying to control our State and Country.” LaFreniere also stated he is trying to get a steel mill and other industry to Cherry Point. Just his remarks he made in his candidate statement are enough to tell me that it would be scary for our county if he were to serve on the County Council. But in addition to that there’s this…
During the July 20, 2019 candidate forum (for candidates running for county elected offices) held by the local League of Women Voters Bellingham/Whatcom, a question was asked by the moderator about the county jail.
Question: “Voters have twice rejected the jail bond for construction of a new jail in Ferndale. What if anything do you think the county should do about the current jail?”
Bill LaFreniere’s response:
“I do believe that we do need a new jail and we need to build it bigger and we need to build it twice, with two buildings twice as big as what we need for the near future so that we won’t have to do it again 15 years from now. Um, I believe that we need to use the Ferndale location that is already paid for, um, we need to like I say, build a second building, but the second building we need to lease out to immigration so they can use it for detention of people that they need to deport. And, uh, that, um, that money coming from the lease would be used to pay down, uh, the cost of the jail. Um, excuse me, that sign kind of confused me, okay, I guess I’ll stop now, thank you.”
Also, during the LWV candidate forum, LaFreniere admitted that he is a “climate denier.”
—David Ramirez, according to the 2019 primary election candidate slate card recently mailed out to local Republican voters by the Whatcom Republican Party, is their party’s official supported candidate for the At-Large County Council position.
In a June 9, 2019 Facebook post on his campaign FB page, Ramirez announced he was “humbled to have received the endorsement of the Whatcom County Republican Party.” It’s important to keep in mind that the local Whatcom County Republican Party continues to support Donald Trump as evidenced by attached screenshot photo showing the large “Trump Keep America Great 2020” banner draped across the front of the stage at their Whatcom Republicans’ annual family picnic held on July 11, 2019. Also, according to his campaign Facebook page, Ramirez is also endorsed by the Whatcom Farm Bureau.
In Ramirez’s candidate statement published in the Whatcom County voters pamphlet he said in part:
“As a concerned citizen I have watched our elected officials govern with the special interest in mind. They have embraced their own agenda which will have consequential effects in our region.” It sounds like he is not happy with the Democratic/Progressive majority makeup of the current County Council.
People can check out all of the candidates by visiting their campaign websites and Facebook pages, reviewing the County voter’s pamphlet that was delivered to registered voters, and watching video recordings of the various candidate forums held which can be found on Facebook.