Whatcom County Council names 22-year-old Simon Sefzik as late Sen. Ericksen’s replacement

Jan 11, 2022, 7:34 AM | Updated: Jan 12, 2022, 6:25 am
Washington Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, talks to reporters on Feb. 2, 2017 at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Whatcom County Council named 22-year-old community activist Simon Sefzik as the replacement for late state Senator Doug Ericksen in a 4-2 vote on Tuesday.

Ericksen died in mid-December, weeks after testing positive for COVID upon arriving in El Salvador.

Sefzik — considered by many to be the underdog among the group of three finalists — recently graduated from a Christian college in Virginia with a degree in politics and policy, and previously interned at the White House in 2020 and 2021.

“I’m probably the youngest person on this Zoom meeting. I’m not a politician, I don’t know how to raise money for a campaign, I don’t know how to talk the political talk,” he said in a statement delivered to the county council shortly before its vote. “You can call me naïve but, if anything, I believe that the story of America is in many ways a story of underdogs.”

Questions from the councilmembers made it clear they wanted someone who will not fight pandemic health measures, such as mask orders and vaccine mandates.

Whatcom County Councilmember Ben Elenbaas was among those nominated to fill Ericksen’s seat as well. Those who voted for Sefzik, though, cited concerns over Elenbaas intimating that he would not resign from the county council if he was elected to the state Legislature. While he would have been legally permitted to serve in both roles, there was apprehension over Elenbaas potentially dividing his attention between the two jobs.

Long-time Bellingham police officer Tawsha Dykstra Thompson was also nominated by the Whatcom County Republican Party as a potential replacement.

Sefzik was sworn in immediately after the vote so he can start work. The legislature began its session Monday. He will serve out the remainder of Ericksen’s term, which ends early next year.

Local News

MyNorthwest Staff

Kent seeks refunds for missed trash pickups as collection resumes for Western Washington

Trash collection worker solidarity strikes ended Tuesday for Western Washington as Republic Services ratifies a new contract with Teamsters.
22 hours ago
COVID-19 deaths, Snohomish County...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

‘Occupancy is virtually 100%’: Just one available ICU bed in all of Snohomish County

As of Tuesday morning, there is only one intensive care bed available in all of Snohomish County, as hospitals continue to feel the strain.
22 hours ago
King County COVID...
Nick Bowman

King County COVID cases finally trending down, but ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’

After soaring to record numbers in January, COVID-19 cases in King County appear to finally be trending in a downward direction.
22 hours ago
Rumors camps...
Nick Bowman

UW expert: False rumors about forced quarantine for unvaccinated were ‘strategically amplified’

Rumors claiming that the state would soon be setting up forced quarantines for the unvaccinated spread like wildfire in recent weeks.
22 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

New mass COVID vaccination site opens in Snohomish County

A new indoor COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at the Everett Mall on Tuesday, and Snohomish County says a mass testing site is coming soon.
22 hours ago
Washington ferries...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington ferries move ‘most routes’ to alternate schedules amid ongoing crew shortages

Washington state ferries have continued to deal with delays, staffing shortages, and reduced routes to kick of the new year.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Whatcom County Council names 22-year-old Simon Sefzik as late Sen. Ericksen’s replacement