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Election Extra: Primary Voter Guide 2023

Primary election stories, Citizens Agenda calendar, how to vote for key questions

Thanks for taking the time to participate in American representative democracy by joining Cascadia Daily News in exploring issues important to local residents participating in the Aug. 1 primary and Nov. 7 general elections.

Our Primary Voter Guide includes 13 election stories (linked below) that will take you behind the scenes in important local elections for Bellingham’s mayor, the Whatcom County Executive, city and county council seats and school board races.

In addition, you’ll find inside our “ballot” for the CDN Citizens Agenda process, a crowdsourcing exercise that allows our readers to select key questions they’d like us to put before candidates in the runup to the November general election. Voting is open and submissions are due by the end of day Wednesday, July 26. You can find the full list of those questions here, along with instructions on how to rank them.

One final note: Because of CDN’s founding commitment to enhance representative democracy through quality local journalism, all of our election coverage and Citizens Agenda materials will be available for free, as a public service, outside the newspaper’s online paywall, through the general election.

—Ron Judd, executive editor,

Related stories

Primary election

Primary election FAQ: What do you need to know?

Whatcom primary ballots burst with candidates: National, local forces drive bigger interest in public office


Whatcom jail measure heads to November ballot: County council sought balance between rehabilitation, incarceration

Reduced Greenways V levy will be on November ballot: Fifth iteration of levy aims to prioritize climate resiliency

Property tax levy on Fire District 4 ballots: Officials to host informational meetings Wednesday, Saturday


2 candidates flex fundraising muscle in primaries: Bellingham mayor, county exec contests have clear winners in race for dollars

4 aim for Fleetwood’s seat as Bellingham mayor: Incumbent shrugs off his critics

Mayoral candidates talk housing, homelessness, new jail at forum: Candidates overwhelmingly support home construction, green energy

Bellingham City Council ward 1 seat contested: 2 candidates seek to unseat incumbent

5 vie for Bellingham City Council at-large seat: Candidates prioritizing housing challenges, homelessness

Whatcom County

6 compete for highest elected position in Whatcom County: Current executive Satpal Sidhu to face 5 challengers

Candidates talk jail, housing at county executive forum: 4 of 6 on Whatcom primary ballot show up to League of Women Voters event

3 vie for rural Whatcom council district: Incumbent Kershner faces challenger from the right

Balance of power at stake in Whatcom County at-large race: Some council candidates resist political labels


Blaine School Board seat a race of 3: One District 2 candidate faces charges

4 compete for Meridian School Board seat: Sweeney, Simmons, Mitchell, Pickett enter primary for District 5

3 enter primary for Ferndale School Board seat

Citizens Agenda calendar

July 26: Last day for readers to vote on questions.

Aug. 1: Primary election

Aug. 4: Citizens Agenda questions are published and mailed in a Q&A format to candidates for the general election. Candidate questionnaires will be published verbatim, with only necessary editing for clarity/grammar, in CDN’s Oct. 13 Voter Guide special section. Questions not answered will be left blank.

August/September: CDN’s editorial board will begin interviewing candidates in hourlong, on-the-record conversations in our office. (Note that while reporters participate in these on-record interviews, CDN’s endorsements — made by an editorial board composed of myself, publisher Cynthia Pope and a nonvoting member, ethics adviser/consultant Dean Wright — are a process kept separate from CDN’s election news coverage.)

Oct. 13: CDN publishes a special Voter Guide for the 2023 general election, including election news stories, analysis, editorial board endorsements and other useful information.

Nov. 7: General Election Day. Please have your ballots in the mail or a ballot box by the end of the day!

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