One race for Kootenai County commissioner took an unexpected twist when current Commissioner Elmer “Rick” Currie, who was defeated in a three-way Republican primary, announced his write-in candidacy for the general election. Currie said none of the candidates in the primary – Currie, Chris Fillios or winner Jai Nelson – had received at least 40 percent of the vote so he did not feel the results were a mandate.
Nelson, however, said the citizens made a clear choice to move ahead in a new direction and “leave the status quo behind.” Two-thirds of the voters told Currie to “move on,” she said. “The voters deserve to be recognized and their choice respected.”
The position pays $71,080 a year, plus health care benefits.
• Jai Nelson , 48
Bio: Self-employed as an interior designer and registered nurse; University of Idaho, 1984, interior design; North Idaho College, 2005, associate of science in nursing; board member at Lutheran Academy of the Master, member of the Nursing Practice Council at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, past volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Single, one son.
Campaign promises: Put the county expenditures online available for viewing by taxpayers. Propose a two-year freeze on property-tax-based budget increases. Organize a countywide joint venture for economic development. Take politics out of land-use planning by contracting with an outside hearing examiner. Finish the comprehensive plan.
• Elmer “Rick” Currie , 63
Bio: Incumbent three-term county commissioner; North Idaho College, associate degree in business administration, 1971; previous employment in building materials and car sales; chairman of the board of Panhandle Area Council, vice chairman of Coeur d’Alene Basin Commission; board member of Lake City Senior Center and Jobs Plus economic development agency. Wife, Vicki, five children between them; three grandchildren.
Campaign promises: Finish the comprehensive plan. Maintain a fiscally conservative budget. Ensure adequate emergency services.
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