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Wilkey leads in coroner race


In early returns Tuesday night in the race for Kootenai County coroner, voters appeared to be selecting a deputy coroner who was endorsed by her boss in the Republican primary.

Debbie Wilkey was holding a solid lead in a three-way race that also included former police Chief Tom Cronin and medical doctor Douglas Stafford.

If the results hold, Wilkey will advance to the general election and a showdown with the county’s chief deputy coroner, Jody DeLuca Hissong, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. The $61,535-a-year position opened when Dr. Robert West announced his retirement after 26 years.

With 36 of 71 precincts reporting, Wilkey had 43 percent of the vote to Cronin’s 30 percent and Stafford’s 27 percent. Wilkey, a nurse with 26 years of experience and a former police officer, ran on a platform that her collection of experiences made her the best fit for the job.

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