Lew Langness of Bonners Ferry was a little surprised to get queries about his stands on issues and why he’s running for the state Senate against Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, because, Langness said, “I’m not really a candidate.” Lew’s wife, Linda, the Boundary County Democratic Central Committee chairwoman, got him to agree to serve as a “placeholder” for several other potential Democratic candidates who were deciding whether or not to run. But then they all backed out.
“I stuck my husband in the awful position of putting his name in as a placeholder,” Linda Langness told Eye on Boise. “We had a couple of potential candidates, and then all the candidates said, ‘No, I won’t do it.’” Lew Langness ran as a registered write-in candidate in the primary election, and got the required 50 write-in votes to qualify for the November general election ballot. “But it was almost immediately afterward that the candidates declined to run,” Linda Langness said. “So I called the secretary of state. … They said, ‘Oh, just don’t send in the fee and he’ll be dropped.’ So if he wasn’t dropped, someone made a boo-boo.”
Lew Langness’ name still is on the Secretary of State’s official list of candidates posted on the office’s Web site; he’s a retired professor of psychiatry and anthropology. Tracie Isaac, a deputy county clerk for Boundary County, when told of the situation, responded, “Oh, dear. Well, I’m not aware of that.” After checking, she said, “We do have him on our ballot as a Democrat for the state Senate, legislative district No. 1.”
Linda Langness said she was disappointed that the other prospective candidates didn’t step forward. Asked why she got her husband to serve as a placeholder rather than taking on that role herself, she said, “Because I was involved in too many things. And also, I was afraid I might get elected. … I have no desire to be a candidate.”