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Spin Control

Primary results: All over but the signing

Spokane County and other counties around the state are set to certify their primary election results today. There's no big surprises or reversals in the results that were essentially finalized Tuesday night.

But of course, there is trivia that can be gleaned from the Spokane numbers. For example:

Race with the biggest "I don't care" factor: Uncontested Supreme Court Position 5, in which 42,250 people didn't mark a ballot for Barbara Madsen or write in another name. But that wasn't solely because she was running unopposed. The three way race for Position 6 also had 32,125 voters refusing to choose among Bryan Chushcoff, Charlie Wiggins and Richard Sanders.

Having plenty of options also didn't seem to help voters in some county races. Despite five candidates in the prosecutor's race, 184 voters wrote in someone else and 8,810 voters just left it blank. And having six assessor candidates -- two Republicans, two Democrats and two independents -- was either not enough for 158 voters, who wrote someone else in. And possibly too many to choose from for the 7,140 voters who just left it blank.

Race that will be most different in the general election: County treasurer's race, because incumbent Skip Chilberg will have an opponent. Rob Chase ran as a write-in and got enough to move on to the Nov. ballot. (Sure, you could argue that the Senate race will be more different because it will shrink from 15 candidates to two. But the names that remain are the ones that we've known about for months.)

Closest race: Second place in the county commissioner's race went to Al French with 5,215 votes compared to Jeff Holy with 5,102, a difference of .37 percent of all votes cast. Numerically, there was a closer race for Republican precinct committee officer in Precinct 3134 in which Kirk Smith got 87 votes and Bill Mann got 85, but technically Smith one by more than a full perecentage point.

Most surprising showing: Norma D. Gruber got 898 votes in Spokane County, and about 9,150 statewide, in the U.S. Senate race, which was more than Mohammad Said, Goodspaceguy, Mike The Mover, Mike Latimer, Schalk Leonard, William Chovill or Will Baker. Although most of the aforementioned were less-than-serious contenders, what's remarkable about Gruber is that unlike the others she did not campaign AT ALL. Gruber's husband was diagnosed with a serious illness just after filing week, and she suspended her campaign, went to no forums or fairs, put up no signs, spent no money. But she did better than half the field.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.