This Time, Rankin Says, He’s Serious Tax Activist Launches Run For County Commissioner

Inveterate tax activist Ron Rankin formally jumped into the race for Kootenai County commissioner Thursday.

This time, he said, he is in it to win.

Rankin ran as an independent for governor in 1994 and as a Republican for county commissioner in 1990. In both cases, he used his soapbox to argue for spending cuts, lower taxes and the one percent tax cap he champions.

“Until now, most of my sojourns into politics have been for the platform,” he said Thursday. “This year, I’m confident.”

Rankin, 66, will face East Side Fire District founder Reed Simpson and incumbent and former beer distributor Bob Macdonald in the May GOP primary.

No Democrat has filed in the race, which means the election could be over in May. The deadline is today.

Rankin proudly displayed a stack of checks Thursday and said he’s already collected $3,000 in campaign contributions from 72 people.

Rankin touted years of lobbying - “at my own expense” - for lower taxes and common-sense government at the Legislature and his battle to cap property taxes. He complained about current commissioners allowing tax-subsidized ambulance service that “still costs $600 to go from Post Falls to Sacred Heart Medical Center” and commissioners’ successful pitch for an optional sales tax.

Rankin also challenged commissioners for claiming they successfully reduced the county budget.

“You can’t raise it 10 percent one year and then congratulate yourself for cutting 1 percent the next. That’s flimflam,” he said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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