Posts tagged: Mike Padden
Former Councilman Mike Allen's lead over incumbent Richard Rush grew by three to 91 on Wednesday after a recount of the Spokane City Council election for the city's south district.
The race was recounted by machine because the result from the first count was within half of 1 percentage point. Rush said he still plans to pursue a hand recount, which the Spokane County Democratic Party has agreed to finance.
Results of a hand recount in the 4th Legislative District senate race, which also was completed Wednesday and was paid for by candidate Jeff Baxter, may not give Rush much hope for much change.
Baxter paid more than $1,700 to have 10 precincts recounted in his race against state Sen. Mike Padden. Election workers who tallied the ballots Wednesday morning found two errors. Baxter lost a vote, and one vote that had been counted as blank was changed to a write-in, for the candidate “N/A.”
In the Rush-Allen race, Rush's tally was found to be too high by two and Allen gained a vote after a ballot that had been counted as blank was found to have been marked for Allen.
Election Manager Mike McLaughlin said he can't say for sure why Rush's count fell by two. One possibility is that after paper jams occurred in the machines, ballots that already had been counted may have been sent through a second time, he said.
Each campaign involved in the two recounts had observers at the Elections Office.
Baxter lost to Padden by 3,638 votes. He said he paid for the recount with his personal money and did so because results in some precincts conflicted with data campaign workers collected when going door-to-door. The outcome hints that in a future race volunteers need to do a better job reaching voters when they're home, he said.
“I didn't think anything insidious was going on,” Baxter said. “I'm just saying that we need to work a little harder in different precincts.”
Baxter said he hasn't decided if he will run again next year.
Last week, Rush indicated that Baxter may have paid for a recount to prevent Rush's race from being recounted by hand. Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton originally requested that the City Council race be counted by hand to test new scanners in the county's voting machines. But she changed course after Baxter opted to pay for a recount in his race.
“It had absolutely nothing to do with his race,” Baxter said. “I don't have the time to be playing those games.”
A hand recount of 10 precincts in the state Senate race between Mike Padden and Jeff Baxter gets underway on Wednesday. Baxter, who is paying for the recount, won't say at this point why he's seeking the recount.
But there is one unusual thing about the race. Well, one unusual thing beyond the fact that the race had two Republicans and takes place in an odd-numbered year.
That is the level of “undervotes”, which is what elections officials call a ballot that has no candidate marked for that particular race. About one 4th District voter in five, or 7,900, didn't pick a candidate in the race.
By comparison, only 765 voters in all of Spokane County didn't pick a side on the Initiative 1183, which ended the state's monopoly on liquor sales. OK, so that may not be a fair comparison, because one is about something really important, like booze, and the other…well, you know.
One key factor may have been the lack of a Democratic candidate. Some Ds might've just been unable to mark their ballots for an R when they got to that race.
But the map above shows where undervotes were heaviest, and they aren't all in traditionally Democratic precincts. Nor do they coincide with the precincts that Baxter has asked to be recounted: 4016, 4025, 4026, 4200, 4404, 4406, 4408, 4418, 4426 and 4436.
For a more detailed (and in most cases easier to read) version of the above map, click on the document link below.
Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said this afternoon that sorting ballots for recounting took longer than expected.
Therefore, the Spokane City Council recount between Richard Rush and Mike Allen and the 4th Legislative District Senate race between Jeff Baxter and Mike Padden won't start until 9 a.m. Wednesday, he said. County should be complete by 1 p.m., when the Spokane County Canvassing Board meets to certify the new results.
Spokane County election officials expect to start and complete on Tuesday the first two of the three recounts they need to complete to finish work from the November election.
Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said the office plans to count the ballots from the Spokane City Council race between Richard Rush and Mike Allen and the 4th Legislative District senate race between Mike Padden and Jeff Baxter starting around 9 a.m.
The Rush-Allen recount will be completed by computer and is required because the race ended with the two candidates within a half percentage point. The senate recount will be completed manually because it was paid for by Baxter.
After this set of results is complete and the Canvassing Board meets on Wednesday, the Allen-Rush hand recount, which is being financed by the Spokane County Democratic Party, can begin.
Rush trails Allen by 88 votes.
Baxter trails Padden by 3,437 votes.
Former state Sen. Jeff Baxter is paying for a partial recount of ballots in his unsuccessful bid to retain his Spokane Valley seat despite losing the race by more than 3,400 votes.
Baxter’s opponent in the contest, Mike Padden, was sworn in as senator representing the 4th Legislative District on Tuesday soon after the Spokane County Canvassing Board certified the results.
Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said Baxter submitted a check for $1,174 to recount 10 precincts. She said he was required to make a down payment of 25 cents per ballot. He will get a refund if the cost of the recount is less.
Baxter, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year, lost it in the November election by 3,437 votes after garnering only 45 percent of the vote.
Reached Wednesday afternoon, Baxter declined to comment when asked if he thought the race was fair. He noted that state law doesn’t require candidates to say why they are asking for a recount and said he would answer questions after a recount is completed.
Mike Padden, who was in the middle of his second day as the 4th District’s new state senator Tuesday afternoon, said he had just been informed that Baxter had asked for a recount but didn’t know “what his rationale is.”
“The vote was pretty overwhelming. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Padden said.
“There is a high undervote,” he said, referring to the term used for a ballot that had no candidate marked for that race. “But you’d expect a high undervote when there’s no Democrat in the race.”
Mike Padden, with wife Laura, waves to family and friends in the Senate chamber after being sworn in by Supreme Courth Justice Jim Johnson
OLYMPIA — Mike Padden took the oath of office Tuesday afternoon in the Senate chambers shortly after Spokane County certified the results on the Nov. 8 elections.
Because of a quirk in state law, Spokane’s 4th Legislative District will have one senator for the first day of the upcoming special session, and a different senator for the rest of it.
Republican Mike Padden is the apparent winner of the race to fill a seat that came open earlier this year when veteran Sen. Bob McCaslin resigned for health reasons. Padden has a mathematically insurmountable lead over Jeff Baxter, a fellow Republican appointed to the seat earlier this year.
Padden, a former state representative and district judge, leads Baxter by 3,628 votes. The Spokane County elections office estimates there are fewer than 3,000 votes left to count in the 4th District.
OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business endorsed Jeff Baxter Friday in the race for the state Senate seat in Spokane Valley's 4th District.
The AWB is meeting this week at Suncadia lodge — a resort near Cle Elum — for its annual “policy summit”. Among the policies are endorsements…mostly for initiatives in this odd-year election.
But with a contest between two Republicans in the 4th, the group went with the incumbent Baxter, who was appointed to the seat this winter after Bob McCaslin retired for health reasons. He faces another Republican, former state Rep. and County District Judge Mike Padden in November because no Democrats got into the race.
The AWB said it was backing Baxter because of his business experience. “The private sector needs to lead our economic recovery efforts,” the group said.
OLYMPIA — RepublicanJeff Baxter will run in this year's special election in an effort to keep the state Senate seat he now holds by appointment.
Baxter announced today that he will seek election to the Spokane Valley's 4th Legislative District seat. He was appointed to the post earlier this year by Spokane County commissioners after Sen. Bob McCaslin announced his resignation after 30 years because of health problems.
Immediately after taking office, Baxter said he was uncertain whether he would run for the post later in the year: “I just got here. Give me a couple days or weeks.” Tuesday he said he was “committed to continuing to represent Spokan County residents during this challenging time.
Baxter, 50, is a Spokane Valley businessman who owns three companies connected to bank cards.
Already in the race is Mike Padden, a former state representative and former Spokane County district judge.
Former Rep. Mike Padden is running for the 4th District Senate seat that he was shut out of in the recent appointment process.
Padden announced today that he'll run this fall for the seat formerly held for 30 years by Bob McCaslin, and to which Jeff Baxter was recently appointed by Spokane County Commissioners. His announcement came with endorsements from some Valley GOP heavyweights like McCaslin and former state Rep. Lynn Schindler.
A 14-year legislator and 12-year Spokane County District Court judge, Padden was among more than a half dozen Republicans interested in the appointment when McCaslin resigned on Jan. 5 because of health problems. But when Republican precinct committee officers met later that month to nominate three potential replacements, supporters of state Rep. Matt Shea elected a slate that kept Padden off the list.
4th District Republican Leader Jeff Baxter, a Valley businessman, was appointed to the seat until a special election this fall. He was sworn in last week, but said he wants to wait a few week before deciding whether he'll run for the position in the upcoming special election.
Although Padden can begin campaigning and raising money now, state law prohibits Baxter, Shea, or any sitting legislator from raising money for an election campaign while the Legislature is in session.
He said Monday he left the Legislature in 1995 because he had young children at home, and the district court appointsment was “a great opportunity and allowed me to return here fulltime.
“I always missed the Legislature.”
He currently serves as judicial outreach liaison to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.
The number of contenders to replace state Sen. Bob McCaslin is growing but efforts to get the seat filled quickly were derailed Thursday.
Saturday’s meeting to nominate possible replacements was postponed after a group supporting a leading contender, Rep. Matt Shea, called for a major demonstration outside the gathering to make sure County Commissioners heed the will of the people.
A group called Spokane Patriots Minutemen sent out an e-mail to members calling for a “flash mob for liberty” to gather outside the New Life Assembly Church Saturday morning, where 4th Legislative District precinct committee officers had been scheduled to nominate three possible replacements for McCaslin, who resigned Jan. 4 for health reasons after 30 years in the Senate.
Members of the group were encouraged in the e-mail to form a large, vocal crowd holding signs with a common theme: “Commissioners, listen to the people! Defy us and you WILL be voted out of office!”