All politics and election news

Stevenson picks up one vote in recount, Election Night outcome unchanged

The recount has been completed in Nez Perce County in the District 6 House race, and the outcome was the same as it was on Election Night: Freshman Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston, has lost to Democratic challenger Dan Rudolph. The final figures from the recount… Read more

Will Condon overcome the curse of Spokane’s one-term mayors?

Mayor David Condon is a guy’s guy. Early in his term, he referred to himself as an “action guy.” Not long ago, he called himself an “accountability guy.” Earlier this week – during an interview discussing his time so far in office – he called himself “kind of an operations guy.” Read more

Idaho ranks middling for percent of legislative races contested in the general election

The National Institute on Money in Politics reports that 36 percent of state legislative races in this year’s general election, nationwide, were uncontested, up from an average of 31 percent from 2001 to 2012. And in some states, including Wyoming, a large majority of races… Read more

Idaho voter turnout ‘abysmal’ at 38 percent

BOISE – As Idaho certified its election results Wednesday, it became official: This year was the first time that less than 40 percent of the voting-age population cast ballots in a general election. “Frankly, it was disappointing,” Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said. “We broke through a barrier that we didn’t want to break through.” Read more

Recount requested in District 6 legislative race, set for next week

The Idaho Attorney General’s office has received a request for a recount of the Nez Perce County portion of a District 6 legislative race, from losing candidate Thyra Stevenson, a Republican. Stevenson lost to Democrat Dan Rudolph by 26 votes. Mike Kingsley, who lost to… Read more

Idaho voter participation hits record low

As Idaho certified its official election results on Wednesday, a troubling distinction emerged: This year’s election was the first time ever that less than 40 percent of Idaho’s voting-age population cast ballots in a general election. “Frankly, it was disappointing,” said Idaho Secretary of State… Read more

The four most interesting things I learned in 2014 Spokane County elections

4. Voters at Fairchild Air Force Base support expanded background checks for gun sales – resoundingly. Initiative 594 won the precinct at Fairchild 72 votes to 38. On the other hand, maybe they don’t. Voters there also supported Initiative 591, though not by as much… Read more

Sunday Spin3: More on the gun initiatives

In politics, as in military campaigns, victory has many fathers. That may explain the self-congratulatory press release from supporters of I-594… To continue reading this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog. Read more

Sunday Spin2: Did the Ayes have too much of it?

Spokane County voters said yes to both gun initiatives, causing some observers on the West Side of the state to scratch their heads on election night. One could reasonably vote no on I-591 and I-594, they opined, but voting yes twice seemed illogical on measures… Read more

Spin Control: Slim majorities require focus on party discipline

OLYMPIA – The most ephemeral thing in politics might be big majorities. This should be particularly obvious to Democrats as they look to next year’s Legislature. Six years ago, Democrats approached the session with 31 of 49 seats in the Senate and 62 of 98 seats in the House. Those were nearly veto-proof majorities if they’d found the need to override any vetoes from Gov. Chris Gregoire, but considering she was a fellow Democrat, that point was mostly moot. Read more

Sunday Spin: Big majorities are temporary

OLYMPIA – The most ephemeral thing in politics might be big majorities. This should be particularly obvious to Democrats as they look to next year’s Legislature. Six years ago, Democrats approached the session with 31 of 49 seats in the Senate and 62 of 98… Read more

Passage of Riverfront Park bond puts new ice rink on front burner

With the approval of a tax by voters in last week’s election, the future of the Riverfront Park’s Ice Palace is short. But many skaters gliding on the ice last weekend say they won’t miss the rink under the U.S. Pavilion – as long as city leaders follow through on plans to build a new outdoor rink along Spokane Falls Boulevard. Read more

Gun rights activists plan I-594 protest at Capitol

OLYMPIA – Gun rights activists plan to bring their firearms to the Capitol next month to engage in civil disobedience by violating the new background check law that they despise. But there may be a flaw in the plan. What they say they’re going to do – “openly exchange guns” by handing them to someone else – isn’t against Initiative 594, according to Bob Calkins, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, which provides law enforcement on the Capitol grounds. They won’t be arrested or cited for doing that. Read more

Airway Heights fire levy fails

The Airway Heights Fire Department’s proposed levy to fund emergency medical service has been rejected by voters. Read more

GOP pushing for recounts in two close legislative races

The Idaho Republican Party is encouraging two of its candidates to ask for recounts in elections that they narrowly lost to their Democratic challengers in the Nov. 4 election for legislative seats in north-central Idaho, the Lewiston Tribune reports. Republican state Rep. Thyra Stevenson of… Read more

WA Elex: State races outside recount margin

All of the races for the state Legislature, as well as Initiative 1351 which requires smaller class sizes, are now far enough apart that they wouldn’t trigger an automatic recount, the Secretary of State’s office said this morning. The I-1351 campaign was claiming victory over… Read more

Eye on Boise: Capitol seeks to meet disabilities act with upgrades

Idaho’s state Capitol is due for $400,000 in accessibility upgrades, to bring the renovated historic structure in line with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They range from new wheelchair-accessible seating areas in the fourth-floor public galleries of the House and Senate, to improved ramps and handrails in various locations, to new signs. Read more

Spin Control: What was the 2014 election all about?

OLYMPIA – A paragraph in the political correspondents’ code requires us to tell voters “what it all means” on the Sunday after an election. Personally, I’ve always believed that by now you’ve all figured it out for yourselves, but to break the code means I could get assigned to some less attractive duty, such as monitoring the police scanner or covering WSU football. So rather than risk packing up the furniture and calling the moving truck, here’s what we learned from the late, great, and sometimes grating, 2014 election: Read more

Newhouse wins seat in 4th District

After the fourth day of ballot counting on Friday, it became certain that Republican Dan Newhouse would be Washington’s newest congressman. Newhouse beat fellow GOP candidate Clint Didier in Washington’s 4th Congressional District in a race that marked the first time in state history that two members of the same party appeared on the fall ballot for a U.S. House seat. Read more

Class-size initiative, I-1351, expands lead again

The state initiative aimed at lowering class sizes increased its lead on the fourth day of ballot counting. The Washington Secretary of State’s website says Initiative 1351 leads by 9,172 votes. After Tuesday’s count, the measure was behind by about 12,000 votes. By Thursday’s count,… Read more