BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The race for the next mayor of Bellingham promises to be a close one. Just a few hundred votes separated the two candidates during the primary election earlier this month.
On Wednesday, a capacity crowd filled Bellingham’s Northwood Hall to hear the candidates try to set themselves apart in a race that’s already proven to be close. Barker and Fleetwood will both appear on November’s ballot with just 476 votes separating them in the primary election earlier this month.
So, what do the candidates stand for?
Combating climate change and creating affordable housing tops Baker’s list. She has served on Bellingham City Council since 2015 and hopes to bring that experience to the city’s top office.
“What are the jobs that we’ve historically had, and what are the housing that will fit those wages? I think when we can crack that nut and figure out how to retain some permeant affordability in that, we will become a community that other cities will be looking at to mirror,” Baker said.
Fleetwood is a lawyer by trade who has served on both the City and County councils. Climate change is high on his list of priorities and said Bellingham should work to protect its natural resources as it grows.
“People are going to continue moving here in greater and greater numbers,” Fleetwood said. “I want for us to kind of create this kind of sustainable model for the future.”
As for who gets to lead the city into the future, that will be decided by voters come November.