Dan Purdy, a Lynden Republican vying for county executive, will likely face incumbent Satpal Sidhu in November’s general election after additional ballot counts Wednesday showed the two candidates continued to earn large percentages of the vote.
Purdy, a first-time candidate, earned 27.77% of the vote, while Sidhu earned 34.88% after additional ballots were counted.
Purdy, 50, is a longtime entrepreneur, management consultant and leader at several mid- to- large-size companies such as BP, and said he has plans to run the county like a business with more emphasis on fiscal responsibility.
“I’m really happy for all of the candidates who were out there campaigning and giving it their all,” he said Tuesday night. “Thank you to the people of Whatcom County for putting their trust in me and for a new chapter.”
Sidhu — a Democrat, though the highest elected position in the county is nonpartisan — is a longtime politician in Whatcom County, and is finishing up his first term as executive.
Sidhu spent his first term in office facing significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and catastrophic flooding in 2021, and preparing for the impending water rights adjudication process in the county. He raised more than $80,000 for the race, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.
“It’s very gratifying that people recognize my work over the last few years, and I am pleased with the results,” Sidhu said Tuesday night. “I am really thankful to all the supporters in Whatcom County, and to all the voters who supported me.”
The race this election cycle was contentious, with six candidates vying for the role. Longtime pol and current county council member Barry Buchanan, state Rep. Alicia Rule, community activist Misty Flowers and former Blaine City Council member Sukhwant Gill will likely not move forward to November’s general election, even with thousands of votes still to be counted.
Sidhu said he appreciated running against both Buchanan and Rule, and acknowledged it can be difficult to run against multiple people in one party.
“They ran a campaign of ideas, not a campaign of putting each other down,” Sidhu added. “I’m thankful to them.”
The next drop of ballot results will be available at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, and election results will be finalized Aug. 15.
This story was updated at 5:31 p.m. Aug. 2, 2023 after additional ballots were counted.