She chairs the Bellingham City Council, works for PSE

WHATCOM — Bellingham City Council member Pinky Vargas announced last weekend she will be a candidate for state Senate in the 42nd Legislative District, a position held by Doug Ericksen of Ferndale.

The announcement was made on the one-year anniversary of the Bellingham Women’s March, at which Vargas spoke.

Vargas currently serves as a member of the Bellingham City Council from Ward 4, having been elected in 2013 and 2017. In 2016 she was chosen by her colleagues to preside at council meetings.

In a statement Monday, Vargas said her focus has been on economic development and creating jobs, keeping the water of Lake Whatcom clean, and passing city budgets that fund emergency services, homelessness prevention and criminal justice.

Vargas also works as a senior business accounts manager at Puget Sound Energy, helping local businesses save energy, improve efficiency and reduce costs. She was awarded PSE’s Energy Award in 2017 and nominated for Whatcom Professional Woman of the Year.

“I’m running for Senate because we need to move forward, work together on common interests and start helping our communities,” said Vargas. “Opportunity needs to come to everyone in Whatcom County, and to get there we need to ensure our families have housing, jobs and can get a good public education. It’s time to put people first!”

Vargas highlights the importance of clean air and water, good schools with high-quality teachers, and a fiscally responsible state budget that “closes tax loopholes and benefits for special interests rather than increasing the tax burden on middle class families.”

“Growing up in a farmhouse without running water until I was 10 years old, I understand the struggles of our rural community,” said Vargas. “But we are sturdy people. We are the sons and daughters of homesteaders and pioneers, fishermen and farmers, tribes and immigrants. We’re home to mountains, rivers, businesses and industry. The diversity of our landscape, people and economy, make us special — and I’m ready to represent all of our communities. Whatcom County is beautiful and bountiful and deserves a senator who spends their time advocating for all of us!”

The 42nd Legislative District of north Whatcom County was won by Democrats Hillary Clinton, Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee in the 2016 elections, Vargas points out.

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