County commissioner candidate eliminated from ballot

One of the seven candidates for a Kootenai County commissioner race has been eliminated from the ballot due to residency requirements, county Clerk Cliff Hayes said in a news release.

“Elections staff did not follow all our procedures when handling the candidacy declaration for Steven Peter Benner,” Hayes said in a statement. “We allowed Mr. Benner to file for county commissioner District 1 without verifying his residency within that district.”

County commissioners are elected countywide, but state law requires them to live in the district for which they declare candidacy. Benner lives in District 2, which isn’t up for election in 2012.

“Mr. Benner has been very gracious about our mistake,” Hayes said. “I apologize to Mr. Benner again, and to the public. We are evaluating our procedures to prevent this error from recurring.”

Benner’s name will not appear on the ballot for the May 15 primary election.

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