August 24, 2022: Candidate Forums


Candidates for State Senator, District 42, and Public Utility District No. 1 Commissioner 3, were invited to City Club to answer questions.

Sharon Shewmake (D) and Simon Sefzik (R), the top two vote-getters in the four-person primary, are now the contenders for the Senate seat in the 42nd District. In 2022 the Whatcom County Council appointed Mr. Sefzik to finish out the late Doug Ericksen’s unexpired term. Ms. Shewmake has served two terms as a 42nd District representative in the State Legislature.

Jaime Arnett and Eric Davidson are competing for the Commissioner 3 seat, Public Utility District No. 1.

Jaime Arnett grew up in Whatcom County and attended Blaine High School and Western Washington University, earning her degree in English Literature in 2005. She is the Executive Director of Animals as Natural Therapy in Bellingham, running a small farm that provides animal-assisted therapy to youth and veterans. Jaime grew up in a fishing family and previously worked as the Administrative Executive for Boundary Fish Company in Blaine. Her work in both fishing and farming gives her a unique perspective on the delicate balance between the two industries, the public, and their needs for fresh water to sustain their futures. Jaime is also a former Blaine City Council Member, appointed in 2019, where she had oversight of the Public Works Department, including municipal electric. She hopes to bring both her experience in executive-level leadership and understanding of the unique needs of our community to her position on the Public Utilities District Commission.

Eric Davidson  Elected experience: currently serving as Blaine City Council member, elected in 2017 and re-elected in 2021.  Other professional experience: registered nurse currently working in community mental health; former Fiscal Manager at WWU overseeing budgets for public safety forecasting balanced long-term budgets; US Air Force, retired Major, two deployments to Iraq as Director of Operations managing patient care, movement & evacuation, hospital operations and budget; former business owner.

Education: Bachelors of Science Business Finance, CSU, Stanislaus; Associate of Science Nursing, Whatcom Community College Nursing School.  Community service: former Chairman of Blaine Public Works Committee; member Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) Board; member Blaine Finance Committee; Chairperson Blaine Tourism Advisory Committee; Economic Development member; founding President Lettered Street Neighborhood Association and G Street Neighborhood Watch.

Simon Sefzik, grew up in Whatcom County and attended Whatcom Community College. He graduated with honors from Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in American Politics and Policy Studies. Sefzik’s interest in government led him to intern for the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and to a full-time staff position with the White House Management Office. Involved in competitive speech and debate at the high school and college levels, Sefzik has assisted in coaching students in public speaking and has worked as a camp counselor teaching courses in economics and history.

Sharon Shewmake (D) is a professor of environmental economics, urban economics, and energy policy at Western Washington University in Bellingham, and a children’s book author, spouse, and mother of two young boys. She completed Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and in Environmental Science and Policy at Duke University, and continued her education at the University of California at Davis, earning her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics. Before moving to Washington, Sharon taught environmental economics, econometrics, labor economics, and conservation policy at UC-Davis and Vanderbilt University, and in Botswana (through the Experiment in International Living). She has represented Whatcom County in the House for 2 terms.