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Spin Control

Posts tagged: rob chase

Amy Biviano returns to political arena

Amy Biviano, whose unsuccessful attempt to unseat GOP state Rep. Matt Shea two years ago became one of the most watched races in the state, is back.

The Spokane Valley accountant has filed paperwork signaling her intent to run for Spokane County treasurer. The incumbent, Rob Chase of Liberty Lake, also has filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission indicating his intent to seek re-election.

Although candidate filing is still months away, state law requires prospective candidates to file with the PDC before soliciting campaign contributions. Biviano, a former county Democratic Party chairwoman, filed Jan. 28. The libertarian-turned-Repbulican Chase, who lost a bid for county commission two years ago, filed in February of last year.

Look for Biviano to emphasize fiscal discipline by pointing to her financial management experience to combat the customary GOP attacks on Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals.

Chase, meanwhile, will look to unify the split in the local GOP that became apparent in his unsuccessful bid for a county commission seat. Hailing from the most conservative wing of the party, Chase raised eyebrows when he suggested investing a portion of the county's tax dollars in precious metals such as gold, though he pointed out that he was talking about a small amount and that state law permits only conservative investments.

Biviano has struggled politically in the conservative Spokane Valley despite campaigning for the Legislature as a fiscal conservative promising tax reform benefiting small businesses. She also was among a handful of applicants passed over for an appointment to an open seat on the conservative Spokane Valley City Council.

Chase, a real estate agent and nutritional products distributor, also has struggled politically. In addition to losing his bid for county commission, he unsuccessfully sought a seat in the state Senate in 2000 and tried to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt in 2002.

But he beat the odds with his 2010 election to county treasurer, starting with a write-in campaign, which received enough votes in the primary to get his name on the ballot in the general election. Chase, whose 1,500 primary write-in votes put him ahead of “Bozo” and other names frequently jotted down in the write-in portion of ballots by some voters, went on to defeat Democratic incumbent Skip Chilberg.

County awash in PCO candidates

The most basic political position for either party is that of the Precinct Committee Officer, a job with no pay, limited authority, and the potential for significant demands on the office holder’s time.

In theory, Democrats and Republicans should each elect a PCO for each of Spokane County’s 314 precincts every two years, although in many years the parties often go begging for willing candidates, and when they find one, there’s no contest for the job.

Not this year. In 105 precincts, about a third of the county’s total, there will be contested elections. Almost all, 101 races, will be for Republican positions. In one precinct, a South Hill precinct near Roosevelt Elementary School, both parties have contested PCO races with two Democrats and three Republicans.

By comparison, less than a tenth of the precincts in King County have contested PCO races in the Aug. 7 election.

It’s a sign of the ongoing struggle between two factions of the local GOP,

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Ron Paul picking up endorsements, headed for Spokane

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. rally Friday evening at the Spokane Convention Center, and is picking up endorsements in and around Spokane.

State Rep. Matt Shea, Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase, and Republican Central Committeemembers John Christina of Spokane and Karen Skoog of Elk all endorsed Paul, the campaign announced today.

Many of those endorsements come as  no surprise. Chase, like Paul, was once a Libertarian candidate; he became active in the Paul campaign in 2008 and was part of the Texas congressman's delegation that helped shape the Spokane County GOP platform.

Shea, R-Spokane Valley, shares many of Paul's views on state's rights, limited government and less spending. He was among legislators who met with GOP contender Rick Santorum on Monday, when the former Pennsylvania senator was in Olympia. Shea was complimentary of Santorum but said he wasn't endorsing him, adding he thought the Spokane Valley's 4th Legislative District would probably split between Santorum and Paul.

Christina was an alternate delegate to the 2008 convention for Paul.

Paul's visit is the latest sign of the increasing interest Washington and Idaho are drawing this year, as the GOP nomination contest continues with four candidates. Santorum was in Washington on Monday and Idaho on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney is scheduled for a fundraiser in Seattle on March 1, and either Romney or one of his family members may be in Spokane before the March 3 caucuses.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has no campaign events scheduled in the region at this time. “Stay tuned,” campaign spokesman Lew Moore said. Gingrich does expect to make a stop in Washington, and the campaign would like to have him visit both sides of the state, Moore added.

Mapping the 2010 Vote: County treasurer

Data from Spokane County Elections office/Computer analysis by Spin Control

Mapping the vote: Spokane County treasurer’s race

Republican challenger Rob Chase holds a narrow lead over Democratic County Treasurer Skip Chilberg in the vote counting. But an analysis of the vote shows that Chilberg ran strongest in the city of Spokane, while Chase built his margins in the Valley and unincorporated areas.

Bozo tops Jesus in county treasurer’s race

It may be the upset of the year.

In the race for Spokane County Treasurer, Bozo garnered more support than Jesus.

Bozo – presumably Bozo the Clown – had three write-in votes, to Jesus’ two.

Bozo and Jesus were just two of nearly 1,500 different people or other creatures, real and fictional, who received votes in the treasurer’s race in the August primary. Most of write-in candidates got just one vote each.

Election observers discourage people from writing in candidates unless they seriously want that person to serve in that office. That’s because in some races, write-ins can cause significant extra work and headaches when tallying the vote.

The elections office keeps an eye on all races to make sure it catches any write-ins that receive 1 percent of the vote. Officials kept a tally this year for each write-in vote for treasurer because Republican Rob Chase filed officially to run as a write-in candidate. He won 1,500 votes – more than the 1 percent required for him to advance to the general election ballot. He is challenging incumbent Democrat Skip Chilberg.

After Chilberg and Chase, the next popular write-in choice was “None” with 70 votes.

(Next time, remember: If you want to vote for none of the candidates in a particular race all you have to do is leave the ovals blank for that office. There is no need to write-in “None” or other write-in choices made this year for treasurer, including “None of the Above,” “No One,” or ”Mr. Nobody.”)

The next popular selections were: “Anyone else” with 54 votes, “Mickey Mouse” with 50 votes, “Other” with 32 votes, “Any Republican” with 37, “Republican” with 26 votes, Ralph Baker” (apparently the current county ASSESSOR) with 25 votes and “John Doe” with 23.

To see the full list of write-ins for county treasurer click here.

Chase enters treasurer’s race as write-in

Rob Chase, a Libertarian turned Republican party activist, is running for Spokane County treasurer as a write-in candidate.

Chase said Tuesday he is entering the race against incumbent Skip Chilberg, a Democrat, because the job is too important to go uncontested. He describes himself as a “Realtor, local talk show host and champion of open and  honest government.”

Chase is no stranger to campaigns, although his previous ones have been more conventional runs in which he filed before the candidate deadline. He unsuccessfully ran for the state Senate in 2000 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, both times as a Libertarian. In 2008, he supported another sometime Libertarian, Ron Paul, in the Texas Congressman’s run for the Republican presidential nomination. He’s now a 4th Legislative District leader for the Spokane County Republican Party.

Voters will have to fill in an oval and write his name in the space on the ballot for the treasurer’s position. If he gets at least 1 percent of the votes cast, his name will appear on the Nov. 2 general election ballot along with Chilberg.

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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.

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