OLYMPIA – Last week, Eastern Washington Democrats were scrambling to find one candidate to challenge Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for her fourth term. This week, they have four – a perennial candidate and a trio of novices, one of them a relative unknown, one known for telling television viewers about the weather and a third who lives on the other side of the state.
Daryl Romeyn, a former weathercaster for KREM and KXLY television stations in Spokane, entered the 5th Congressional District race Friday, one of many candidates filling out the Aug. 17 ballot on the last day of filing.
Romeyn, a 51-year-old Greenacres resident, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. He left KREM in March, a spokeswoman for the station said.
His entry surprised state Democratic Vice Chairwoman Sharon Smith, who said she didn’t know Romeyn was active in Democratic events or causes. Party leaders recruited Clyde Cordero, a Spokane Valley resident who works as a Web advertising salesman and Desert Storm veteran.
David Fox, a Port Angeles attorney, made it a half-dozen shortly before filing closed. Fox previously announced plans to run for Clallam County prosecutor, but that was short-circuited by his arrest last weekend at Sea-Tac airport for driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana; charges were not filed in that case or in a previous allegation of sexual misconduct with a client.
Fox said he grew up in Othello, where his grandfather homesteaded and his family still farms. He plans to move to Spokane for the campaign. Under federal law, a candidate for the U.S. House need not live in the district, only in the same state as the district.
Romeyn’s and Fox’s entrance makes five challengers to McMorris-Rodgers in the 5th District, with Randall Yearout of the Constitution Party and Democrat Barbara Lampert, a perennial candidate who runs low-budget campaigns.
That pales in comparison with the U.S. Senate race, generally thought to be a race in the fall between three-term incumbent Democrat Patty Murray and either former state Sen. Dino Rossi or Clint Didier, a former NFL star and farmer from Eltopia. The primary ballot, however, will sport 15 candidates: six listing Republican Party preference, five listing Democratic Party, one Centrist Party, one Reform Party and two listing no party preference.
Under Washington’s top-two primary system, candidates decide how to list their party preference. Candidates also are free to change from one election to the next.
Glen Stockwell, running as a Republican in the 9th Legislative District, ran as a Democrat two years ago, but as a Republican in a previous race. Mohammad Said, who lists the Centrist Party in his run for the U.S. Senate, has run previously as a Democrat.
Regardless of party, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary face off in the Nov. 2 general election.
Other crowded primary races include the Spokane County Assessor race, where Republican incumbent Ralph Baker faces four challengers, including late entrant Sadie Charlene Cooney, a former assessor. Challengers to Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager, a Democrat, also grew to four just before the deadline with the entry of David Elton, a self-styled political consultant.
And some incumbents got the equivalent of a free pass, with no opponent filing a challenge. Write-in candidates can still surface, but under the top-two primary the major political parties can no longer file a candidate if they aren’t represented in a race.
Here are the candidates, and their stated party preference, appearing on Spokane-area ballots in the Aug. 17 primary
U.S Senate: Paul Akers, Republican; Charles Allen, Democratic; Will Baker, Reform, Bob Burr, Democratic; William Chovill, Republican; Clint Didier, Republican; Goodspaceguy, Democratic; Norma Gruber, Republican; Mike Latimer, Republican; Schalk Leonard, no party; James Mercer, no party; Mike the Mover, Democratic; Patty Murray, Democratic; Dino Rossi, Republican; Mohammad Said, Centrist
U.S. House, 5th District: Clyde Cordero, Democratic; David Fox, Democratic; Barbara Lampert, Democratic; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican; Daryl Romeyn, Democratic; Randall Yearout, Constitution
3rd District House Pos. 1: Bob Apple, Democratic; Andy Billig, Democratic; Louise Chadez, Democratic; Dave White, GOP
House Pos. 2: Timm Ormsby, Democratic; Hector Martinet, no party; Morgan Oyler, GOP
4th District House Pos. 1: Larry Crouse, Republican
House Pos. 2: Matt Shea, Republican
6th District Senate: Mike Baumgartner, Republican; Chris Marr, Democratic
House Pos. 1: Kevin Parker, Republican
House Pos. 2: John Ahern, Republican; John Driscoll, Democratic; Shelly O’Quinn, Republican
7th District Senate: Bob Morton, Republican; Barbara Mowrey, Democratic
House Pos. 1: Shelly Short, Republican
House Pos. 2: Joel Kretz, Republican
9th District House Pos. 1: Susan Fagan, Republican
House Pos. 2: Joe Schmick, Republican; Glen Stockwell, Republican
Commissioner District 3: Al French, GOP; Jeff Holy, Republican; Bonnie Mager, Democratic; Steve Salvatori, Republican; David Elton, Republican
Assessor: Ralph Baker, Republican; Vicki Horton, Republican; Andrew Jackson, Democratic; Lori Wick, Independent; Sadie Charlene Cooney, DemocraticAuditor: Leonard Christian, Republican; Vicky Dalton, Democratic
Clerk: Thomas Fallquist, Republican
Prosecuting Attorney: Chris Bugbee, Republican; Frank Malone, Democratic; Jim Reierson, Law & Order; Dave Stevens, Republican; Steve Tucker, Republican
Sheriff: Ozzie Knezovich, Republican
Treasurer: Skip Chilberg. Democratic
>p>State Supreme Court Pos. 1: Jim Johnson; Stan Rumbaugh
Pos. 5: Barbara Madsen
Pos. 6: Bryan Chuschoff, Richard Sanders, Charlie Wiggins
Court of Appeals Dist. 3: Harvey Dunham, Laurel Siddoway
District Court Pos. 1: Vance Peterson; Pos. 2: Sara Derr; Pos. 3: John Cooney; Pos. 4: Patti Connolly Walker; Pos. 5: Gregory Tripp; Pos. 6: Debra Hayes, Timothy Note; Pos. 7: Donna Wilson; Pos. 8: Richard White