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Spin Control

Posts tagged: 2014 Washington Elections

4th Congressional District has long ballot

An even dozen candidates are running for an open seat in Central Washington’s 4th Congressional District, making it the most crowded race in the state’s Aug. 5 primary.

The district trends heavily Republican, and so did the candidate filings. Eight are Republicans, with two Democrats and two independents. Under the state’s primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party.

Go inside the blog to see the order they’ll appear on the ballot after a drawing by the secretary of state’s office:

 

Party time

The top-two primary continues to give candidates a chance to show creativity to dream up political parties. Under the old law, a candidate claiming to be a member of a minor party with a clever name had to take the rudimentary steps of forming it, collecting signatures at a special gathering.

Because candidates no longer run as a member of any party, the ballot merely says which they prefer. This leads to some Republicans saying they prefer the GOP Party (yes, it’s a redundancy, but never mind) or the Independent R Party. Some who say they are independent, and put that down in the box on their candidate form, get listed as preferring the Independent Party, which sounds like something else entirely. Ronnie Rae, a candidate in the 7th District, listed his preference as Centralist Party but said there’s not really any party, it just describes his middle-of-the-road philosophies.

Other candidates just seem to let ’er rip on party preferences. Candidates in congressional races list the National Union, the Work and Wealth and the Human Rights parties. Legislative candidates list Independent Dem, Framers and Republicanspirit parties. Then there’s a legislative candidate from Graham who listed his preference as the Marijuana Party, although maybe he really just wants to attend one.

Bring on the Zamboni

Judicial races in Washington usually are notable for having very little notable to report. Candidates compare resumes, look for people to place in long lists of endorsements in their newspaper ads and generally avoid controversy in an effort to seem judicious.

One state Supreme Court candidate may have stirred up controversy just by filing. John “Zamboni” Scannell filed against incumbent Justice Debra Stephens. He’s notable for more than just his nickname, earned from driving the ice-smoothing machine for a Seattle hockey team. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the  blog.

McMorris Rodgers draws 3rd opponent as filing week closes

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers drew a third challenger and several other political races filled out Friday on the last day for candidates to file for office in Washington.

Tom Horne of Nine Mile Falls filed as a Republican against McMorris Rodgers, who is seeking a fifth term in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District. Horne hasn’t filed with the Federal Elections Commission or made a formal campaign announcement, and couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on his plans to unseat a fellow Republican. An internet search indicates he’s a firefighter and the inventor of the “Jake knife” a tool used by firefighters.

The race already includes independent Dave Wilson, a Spokane business consultant, and Democrat Joe Pakootas, chief executive officer of the corporation that manages Colville Tribal businesses.

Other last-day filings included former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite, who made it a three-way race for a 4th Legislative District House seat, which also includes appointed incumbent Leonard Christian and Valley school teacher Bob McCaslin Jr. Rep. Matt Shea filed for re-election to the other seat and drew a challenge from Josh Arritola, who runs a management consulting firm. All five 4th District candidates are Republicans.

Randy Glenn II, an information technology manager filed as a Libertarian in the 3rd Legislative District House race that already included incumbent Democrat Marcus Riccelli and Republican Tim Benn, a day care center co-owner. Glenn is one of three Libertarians in local legislative races, along with Paul Delaney of Spokane, who is running for the other 3rd District seat against Democratic Rep. Timm Ormsby, and James Apker of Mead, who is challenging 7th District Republican Rep. Shelly Short.

Donald Dover, a retired manager of distance learning programs for Washington State University filed against Republican Rep. Kevin Parker in the 6th District and Ronnie Rae, a Loon Lake attorney, filed with a “Centralist Party” preference against Republican Rep. Joel Kretz in the 7th District. Rae said that’s not a real party but a description of his political philosophy.

For a list of candidates who have filed for offices that would be on Spokane area ballots, click here to go inside the blog.

4th Cong District: Holmquist Newbry makes 8

In a sign that politics abhors a vacuum almost as much as nature, an open seat in Central Washington’s 4th Congressional District has drawn eight candidates with two days left in the state’s filing week.

State Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, on Wednesday afternoon joined six other Republicans and one Democrat seeking to replace 20-year veteran Richard “Doc” Hastings in a district that stretches from Canada to the Columbia River and also includes Yakima and the Tri-Cities.

Other Republicans in the race include former legislator and state Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse; rancher Clint Didier, who has run for U.S. Senate and state lands commissioner; Tri-Cities attorney George Cicotte; Rite Aid supervisor Kevin Midbust; videographer Gavin Seim and economic development specialist Glen Stockwell.

Jamie Wheeler, an in-home care provider who previously announced a campaign on Facebook but had not filed papers with the Federal Election Commission said Wednesday she would not run.

Estakio Beltran, a former congressional aide, is the lone Democrat at this point. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

 

4th Congressional District filling up

Central Washington's 4th Congressional District continues to attract candidates Tuesday with seven would-be representatives filing for the seat being vacated by Doc Hastings. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click to continue inside the blog.

 

Day 1 of filing week

A noon-time campaign event by state Sen. Michael Baumgartner brought several Republicans into the Spokane County Elections Office on the first day of filing week.

State Reps. Jeff Holy of Cheney and Leonard Christian of Spokane Valley joined Baumgartner in filing their paperwork and paying their fees. Also on the list the first morning were:

— Mary Lou Johnson, filing as a Democrat for the Spokane County commissioner seat now held by Republican Al French
— Larry Haskell, filing as a Republican for Spokane County prosecutor
— Alene Lindstrand, filing as “G.O.P. Party” for Spokane County auditor
— Mary Kuney, also lilsting “G.O.P. Party” for Spokane County treasurer.

Incumbent Republican Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich also turned in his paperwork.

For a full list of filings as of lunchtime, go inside the blog

 

Filing week starts today

Washington residents with political ambitions have until Friday afternoon to make them official by filing for office.

Voters will elect 10 members of the U.S. House, half the state Senate, the full state House, four state Supreme Court justices and many county executive posts in this fall’s election. Except for the judicial positions, most offices are partisan, so candidates are asked to indicate which party they prefer when they file their paperwork and pay the filing fee, which amounts to 1 percent of the salary for the office sought.

Candidates running for county offices and legislative seats for districts inside a single county file paperwork at the county elections office. Those running for Congress, statewide judicial offices or legislative districts that spread over more than one county file with the Secretary of State in Olympia.

Or a candidate can file for any office online from 9 a.m. Monday through 4 p.m. Friday at www.vote.wa.gov – if he or she has an e-mail address and a credit card.

County office hours vary. In Spokane County the office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and elections officials say a candidate must be in the process of filing at 4 p.m. Friday for the petition and fee to be accepted.

The Secretary of State’s office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday Spin: Pick your race, then file

Last week’s steady stream of candidates announcing they plan to run for some office or another is a sign that filing week is nearly upon us.

May 12 through 16 is the time for a candidate to go from talking about running for office to putting money where his or her mouth is, and then attaching it to the required paperwork and filing it with county or state elections officials.

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton had a word of advice recently for would-be candidates contemplating their runs. It boils down to “do all your contemplating before filing and paying your fee.”

Apparently some candidates in the 4th Legislative District have been talking about filing early in the week for one House seat, and maybe switching later in the week if the field for the other seat seems to offer better prospects.

Right now, the state Public Disclosure Commission lists seven House candidates in the 4th, all Republicans. Five haven’t indicated which seat they will seek, leaving the space marked “Position No.” blank, or putting a U – presumably for “undecided” – or a NA, which usually stands for not applicable.

In this case, the position number is very applicable. You file and run for one or the other, and must say so on your campaign signs and literature and candidacy petitions.

Presumably, this is all about jockeying to see who will run for the seat that was vacated last year by long-time Rep. Larry Crouse, to which Leonard Christian was appointed. Christian is willing to say he’s seeking No. 1, which he currently holds. Yet Rep. Matt Shea, who has held the No. 2 position since winning it in 2008, considers it “NA”.

Shea has already endorsed Robert McCaslin for the House, who is also running NA, but presumably not NSS, or Not Shea’s Seat.

Josh Arritola of Chattaroy, the head of a management consulting firm, made the formal announcement last week that he’s running against Shea. He may be waiting for Shea to pick a number to replace the U on his form and put it to his web site. (There was a time when candidates chose their race before designing a web site, but that’s probably so 2000s.)

The position number can be added to a web site with a few key strokes by a programmer. It can be attached to a yard sign or a bill board with stickers. Changing it on a petition of candidacy after it’s filed with elections officials next week isn’t so easy. In fact, it’s not possible, Dalton said. A candidate can switch races only by withdrawing from the first race, which means forfeiting that filing fee, then filing new paperwork for the other race. And paying the fee again.

Elections officials won’t mind taking two fees from the same candidate. But it might not sound good for anyone running as a fiscal conservative in the Spokane Valley’s 4th District. And does anyone run as anything else in the 4th?

McMorris Rodgers makes 2014 bid official

Cathy McMorris Rodgers made her re-election campaign official Monday, announcing she’ll seek a sixth term in the House of Representatives.

The announcement is primarily a formality because the Spokane-area Republican has been raising money almost since the 2012 election ended and already has collected some $1.3 million for the upcoming campaign.

Rival Democrats have recruited Joe Pakootas, chief executive officer of the Colville Tribal business operation to run against her. David Wilson, former head of Interface College, is running as an independent.

In her announcement. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the blog.

Gun initiatives could load confusion into election

OLYMPIA — Whether they are more likely to support gun rights or stronger background checks, Washington voters appear to be confused about a pair of seemingly conflicting gun initiatives and could approve both of them this fall.

That's the conclusion of a new Elway Poll that asked about 500 voters their support for Initiatives 591 and 594, both of which will be on the November general election ballot.

In the survey, 72 percent said they would definitely or likely vote for I-594, which would expand background checks in Washington for gun sales beyond the current federal standards for purchases from gun dealers; 55 percent said they would definitely or likely vote for I-591, which would allow background checks to be expanded in Washington state only if it's part of a national standard.

Among those questioned, 62 percent said they thought background checks should be made more extensive, while 32 percent said they should be kept as is. But here, too, there was confusion, because half of those who favor more extensive background checks said they would vote for I-591; and half who said background checks should be kept as they are now planned to vote for I-594.

Rodney Tom calls it quits

Rodney Tom addresses a delegation from Spokane last January.

OLYMPIA — Rodney Tom, a Republican turned Democrat who joined with GOP members of the Senate to form a ruling coalition for the last two years, will not run for re-election this fall. 

Tom, currently the Senate majority leader, announced today he concluded over the weekend “the decision not to run is the right one for me and my family.”

He called his service as leader of the Majority Coalition Caucus “an opportunity of a lifetime for me personally”. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the blog.

Pakootas hopes McMorris Rodgers’ rank works against her

As a member of Congress gains stature in Washington, D.C., opponents often have more trouble defeating them in elections back home. Eastern Washington Democrats are hoping the reverse is true this year as Joe Pakootas prepares to run against Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

He’s counting on a boost from the public’s general low opinion of Congress, its partisan wrangling and its short time in session will work against the 10-year incumbent who is part of Republican leadership. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

SPD detective files for run against Knezovich

Last week’s off-year election isn’t even certified yet, and now 2014 already is heating up.

Spokane police Detective Doug Orr is gearing up for a run against Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

Orr, who also serves as an adjunct criminal justice professor at Gonzaga University, has filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission declaring his intent to run for sheriff next year, which enables him to begin seeking campaign contributions.

Knezovich also has filed paperwork with the PDC indicating he’ll seek another term, and he’s already raised nearly $35,000 for the campaign.

He was first appointed to the post by Spokane County commissioners in 2006 when former Sheriff Mark Sterk stepped down.  Knezovich was elected to his first full term later that year following a bruising GOP primary clash with Sterk’s preferred successor, former Spokane Valley Police Chief Cal Walker. Knezovich was unopposed when he sought re-election in 2010.

Cowan to challenge Baumgartner in 6th

The head of a local movie production company said he will challenge an incumbent senator in Spokane’s 6th Legislative District next year.

Democrat Rich Cowan, chief executive officer of North by Northwest, said Tuesday he will run against Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner, contending the incumbent’s views on some issues are too extreme for the district.

One of his main goals if elected, Cowan said, would be to find a way to complete the North Spokane Corridor, a roadway that has been discussed for more than a half century and under construction for more than a decade. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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