About this race
With 85 employees, the office oversees county elections, recorder and auditor, and is clerk of the district court and Board of Commissioners. Republican Jim Brannon was appointed to the position last December after the death of Clerk Cliff Hayes. Brannon said the elections division continues to improve in reporting election results, but added he won’t sacrifice accuracy for expediency. He said the clerk’s office has led efforts to better track and fulfill public records requests and to streamline the $79 million county budget process. Democrat Larry Belmont said it’s time to look at qualifications, and not political muscle, for local elected offices. He said he’d bring a proven style of management to the office, which he believes should be nonpartisan. He’s not raising or spending campaign money and says he’d serve only one term.
Clerk, Kootenai County
|Jim Brannon (R)||24,470||67.79%|
|Larry Belmont (D)||11,627||32.21%|
* 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.
Not long ago Jim Brannon was alleging Kootenai County voting irregularities in a lawsuit contesting an election loss. Now he oversees the elections division and is running to keep his seat as county clerk. His opponent, Larry Belmont, is a former longtime director of the Panhandle Health District who says he wants to give Democrats a reason to vote in a state dominated by the GOP.
You may have forgotten, but last Wednesday was the 58th anniversary of the only perfect-game, no-hitter thrown in the World Series – by Don Larsen of the New York Yankees. Larsen, who now lives in Hayden, blanked the powerful Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0. Everyone was dumbfounded by the feat, including Larsen and famous, longtime Yankees PA announcer Bob Sheppard, who said: “If Nolan Ryan had done it, if Sandy Koufax had done it, if Don Drysdale had done it, I would have nodded and said, ‘Well, it could happen.’ But Don Larsen?” Larsen’s career was otherwise unspectacular. In 14 Major League Baseball seasons, Don posted a record of 81 wins and 91 losses – and a 3.78 earned run average. He may still commemorate his extraordinary feat with a vanity license plate that reads: “DLooo” – for Don Larsen (no runs, no hits, no errors). It doesn’t add up
Again, Kootenai County owes a debt of gratitude to Treasurer Tom Malzahn for postponing his retirement 21 months to protect his office from right-wing ideologues who control the local GOP. In Idaho, the respective parties provide up to three names for appointment by commissioners when a vacancy occurs among the courthouse elected officials. Malzahn feared that the tea party/Ron Paul wing that dominates the GOP Central Committee would bypass his competent deputy, Laurie Thomas, in favor of conservative ideologues.