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Candidate pulls out of Ferndale City Council race

Derrick Watson, candidate for Ferndale City Council position 5, announced via email tonight he has ended his campaign.

According to Watson, “I will be voting for Cathy Watson and I strongly urge that everyone else do so as well. When she is re-elected to council I want all of us to support her efforts to build a better Ferndale.”

Derrick explained his decision, “For some, this will not be a surprise. And though I truly appreciate the support of many and willingness of new friends to hear my story, I was not fully ready to be a candidate.”

There was visible discord between Cathy and Derrick during last Tuesday’s political forum. It happened when Cathy responded with “what he said isn’t true” when responding to Derrick’s statement toward a question about how the City can work with the Lummi Nation better. Derrick and Cathy then chatted between themselves off-microphone for a few moments while Councilmember Fred Kennedy began his statement.

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Cathy later explained she was referring to Derrick’s assertion to coaching Lummi youth football. Cathy said he had been relieved of that position a few weeks prior when Lummi officials learned about a felony conviction in his background.

Derrick, in his email, acknowledge the discord. “Many unflattering things were said about me during the campaign. Sadly, some are true, some were not. As a result, the attention to my past became the focus of the campaign, not Ferndale’s future. My family and I love Ferndale and we haven’t changed our desire to see it become a better city.”

This leaves Cathy Watson, the incumbent for seat 5, in an uncontested race.

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  1. Lloyd Zimmerman Lloyd Zimmerman October 9, 2017

    Too late. The ballots have been printed and there will two Watson names in that race. Mr. Watson will be surprized at how many votes he will get despite his dropping out. If Mr. Watson was a convicted felon he would not be a registered voter or be able to run for public office.

    • Discover Ferndale Discover Ferndale October 9, 2017

      Per RCW 29A.08.520:
      For a felony conviction in a Washington state court, the right to vote is provisionally restored as long as the person is not under the authority of the department of corrections. For a felony conviction in a federal court or any state court other than a Washington state court, the right to vote is restored as long as the person is no longer incarcerated.

      As for a felony conviction disqualifying someone as a candidate for public office, no where, including the primary qualifications stated within RCW 29A.24.075, is there any such reference. As long as they are a registered voter (see prior RCW reference), they are able to run for office. The Whatcom County candidate guidelines also stipulate, for Ferndale City Council candidates, “Candidates must be registered voters of the city at the time of filing and must have been a resident of the city for a period of at least one year preceding the election.”

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