M 2012 Idaho General Election

Kootenai County Sheriff, Kootenai County

About this race

Voters in Kootenai County will elect their first new sheriff in 13 years with the retirement of Sheriff Rocky Watson. Four candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot are vying for the job of the county’s top law enforcement officer. The sheriff serves a four-year term. The salary is $84,873, not including benefits. Jail overcrowding, retention of deputies and the department budget are top issues in the race.

Last updated: Nov. 14, 2 p.m. Election results

Ben Wolfinger (R) 39,739 72.46%
Bob Foster (I) 8,238 15.02%
Tom Dickson (I) 3,584 6.53%
Joe Bodman (I) 3,284 5.99%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

Related coverage

Huckleberries: Wolfinger defends right to miss recent gun rally

An Athol gun lover gave new Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger a razzberry for not attending that Second Amendment rally in Coeur d’Alene on Jan. 19. In a letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Michael Alexander said: “Where were you? Do you not support the Constitution which you were sworn to uphold?” Read more

Wolfinger Pins On Sheriff’s Badge

Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger’s first day on the job began with swearing in his staff Monday. (SR photo: K… Read more

Huckleberries: Breakthrough for common good – imagine that

’Tis nice that warring elected officials in the Coeur d’Alene area could come together, as in times past, to do the right thing for the common good. The tentative deal struck Thursday for the sale of Person and Bryan fields for $750,000 by the Coeur d’Alene City Council and the school board was Coeur d’Alene at its best. The cash-strapped school district will get money to help fund a new administration building. The city will be guaranteed perpetual use of two parks that it already maintains in older parts of town. Read more

Wolfinger Ready To Become Sheriff

Wednesday’s final ballot counts marked both a stark victory and a clear failure in the Kootenai County races. Resi… Read more

Wolfinger Leads Sheriff’s Donations

Major Ben Wolfinger has raised more money overall than his Independent opponents in a four-way race for Kootenai C… Read more

KCSD Gives Meth Project $40K

Major Ben Wolfinger, the Republican candidate for Kootenai County sheriff, and Idaho First Lady Lori Otter prepare… Read more

Huckleberries: Family ties run deep for patient sheriff’s deputy

In the “Chip Off the Old Block” department, a Bayview man owes his life to a Kootenai County sheriff’s deputy who didn’t shoot first and ask questions later. Deputy Brad Wolfinger found himself facing an armed domestic-abuse suspect when he answered a call in Bayview on Monday. Read more

Coeur d’Alene Police Endorse Foster

A little birdie in Independent Bob Foster’s campaign for Kootenai County sheriff tells Huckleberries: “The Coeur d… Read more

Hutcheson Leads Sheriff Fund Raising

Both Keith Hutcheson and Ben Wolfinger have outraised Tea Party candidate John Green in the three-way GOPrimary ra… Read more

Kootenai County sheriff candidates

John Green AGE: Not given Read more

Sheriff’s Candidates ‘Speed Date’

The Phantom Photographer of Huckleberries Online snapped this shot of the three Republican sheriff’s candidate dur… Read more

Wolfinger Runs For Top KCSD Spot

After nearly three decades with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, Ben Wolfinger said he is ready to tackle… Read more

HH: Don’t Radicalize Sheriff’s Position

Herb Huseland: Why anyone would want a hard right or hard left sheriff is beyond my comprehension. The ideal law e… Read more

DFO: Bob Foster Wise To File As Indie

I was watching a replay of wannabe John Green’s rant from the sheriff’s candidate forum in February about the “cow… Read more

Bodman Files As An Independent

Former Post Falls councilman Joe Bodman has filed to run for Kootenai County sheriff as an Independent. Bodman is … Read more

Johnson: KCSD Isn’t Paramilitary

On his Facebook wall, Adam Johnson, one of five candidates for the Kootenai County GOP nod, posts: “During the She… Read more

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Candidates

Keith Hutcheson, former Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police chief (left), and sheriff’s Major Ben Wolfinger mull a questio… Read more

Poll: Hutcheson Early HBO Choice

Monday Poll: Keith Hutcheson, chief of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police, was the clear favorite in the five-way rac… Read more

Major Ben’s Felony Warrants List

A Coeur d’Alene man wanted for possible felony probation violation for a DUI is at the front of sheriff’s Major Be… Read more

Sheriff Candidate OK With Tents

John Green, a Kootenai County sheriff’s candidate, was present at the first meeting of United Conservatives of Nor… Read more