August 20, 2008 in City

Breaking down the ballots


A look at Tuesday’s contested races

Statewide races



Candidates: Incumbent Chris Gregoire (D); Dino Rossi (R); John W. Aiken Jr. (R); Will Baker (Reform Party); Duff Badgley (Green Party); Christian Pierre Joubert (D); Christopher Tudor (independent); Javier Lopez (R); Mohammad Hassan Said (independent); James White (independent)
Although many votes remain to be counted in the coming days, initial results mirrored recent polls: Gregoire led Rossi 48 percent to 46 percent late Tuesday night. Among the eight lesser-known challengers, Medical Lake’s John W. Aiken Jr. did the best, pulling in about 2 percent of the vote.The two main campaigns tried to lower expectations in the days before the election, with Rossi’s downplaying the primary as a referendum on November. Democrats suggested anything less than a tie by Rossi would doom his bid for office.Gregoire and Rossi will again face off in November. The already hard campaigning now ramps up a notch, with statewide debates and a continued ad blitz through November. Gregoire and her allies will likely continue to paint Rossi as a Bush-style Republican; he’ll portray her as a free-spending bureaucrat.

Lieutenant governor

Candidates: Incumbent Brad Owen (D); Arlene Peck (Constitution Party); Marcia McCraw (R); Jim Wiest (R); Randel Bell (D)
Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a rural Democrat, far outpolled four challengers. He drew 52 percent of the vote. The closest challenger, Republican Marcia McCraw, drew half that: 26 percent. Spokane Valley’s Arlene Peck was trailing with 3 percent.With plenty of money and no big-name challenger, Owen largely steered clear of the sort of flak that voters are seeing in the race for governor. It also probably didn’t hurt that he outspent his best-funded challenger, McCraw, nearly 5 to 1.Owen will likely face McCraw in November but is well-positioned to coast to re-election in November.

Secretary of state

Candidates: Incumbent Sam Reed (R); Mark Greene (Party of Commons); Jason Osgood (D); Marilyn Montgomery (Constitution Party)
Seeking his third term, moderate Republican Reed was well ahead of second-place Osgood, a Democrat with little political experience. Reed had 58 percent to Osgood’s 33 percent. Spokane’s Montgomery was in third place with 7 percent.As the state’s chief elections officer, Reed in 2004 angered many fellow Republicans – and won respect from many Democrats – for his handling of the razor-thin gubernatorial election that year. Reed has since pushed successfully for election reform, including purging voter rolls and making the primary a month earlier.Osgood and Reed will face off in November. So far, Reed has outraised Osgood more than 20 to 1 – and outspent him by nearly as much.


Candidates: Allan Martin (R): Jim McIntire (D); ChangMook Sohn (D)
In a sharply competitive race among three well-credentialed contenders, McIntire had 40 percent to fellow Democrat Sohn’s 15 percent. Martin, the sole Republican in the race, had 45 percent.In a race that’s normally a sleeper, the three candidates raised nearly half a million dollars this year. Democrats McIntire and Sohn spent heavily; Martin didn’t.McIntire now refocuses his campaign on Martin.


Candidates: Incumbent Brian Sonntag (D); J. Richard “Dick” McEntee (R); Glenn Freeman (Constitution Party)
Sonntag, after four terms as state auditor, was well ahead of second-place McEntee, 59 percent to 34 percent.Of all the incumbent statewide officeholders running for re-election this year, Sonntag has spent the least: $31,362.Sonntag will face off against McEntee.

Superintendent of public instruction

Candidates: Incumbent Terry Bergeson; Randy Dorn; John Patterson Blair; Don Hansler; Enid Duncan; David Blomstrom

(nonpartisan position)
Seeking a fourth term, incumbent state Superintendent of Public Instruction Bergeson was ahead of top challenger Dorn, but not by enough to win this nonpartisan race outright in the primary. Bergeson had 42 percent to Dorn’s 30 percent, with the other four contenders trailing far behind.The subtext to this race has been the controversial WASL test. Bergeson backs it as a key measure of accountability. Her top opponent, school-employee union head Randy Dorn, says the test has become too all-consuming and expensive. Bergeson and Dorn will face off in November.

Insurance commissioner

Candidates: Incumbent Mike Kreidler (D); Curt Fackler (independent); John R. Adams (R)
A high-stakes bid by Spokane County Republican Party Chairman Curt Fackler to run as a nonpartisan apparently backfired. Republican John Adams, who did little campaigning, was leading Fackler with 36 percent to Fackler’s 10 percent. But incumbent Mike Kreidler, a Democrat running on a universal health care plan, easily outpolled both with 54 percent.Fackler’s top campaign issue: not-for-profit health insurers’ large cash reserves. He’d like that money used to reduce rates.Adams will challenge Kreidler in November. In an identical faceoff in 2004, Kreidler easily beat Adams. So far he’s raised about $120,000. Adams hasn’t reported any fundraising.

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