Three-term Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee was trailing by a wide margin to challenger Marc Eberlein in early returns that included only absentee ballots in Tuesday’s Republican primary election.
Tondee, who owns a Post Falls car lot, had 34 percent of the vote, according to the first batch of results released just after 10 p.m., an hour behind schedule. Eberlein, the founder of a Post Falls cabinetry manufacturer, had about 54 percent of the vote. A third candidate, real estate agent Tim Herzog, claimed just 12 percent of the vote.
Democrats were heavily favoring engineer and land surveyor Bruce Noble in their primary for the commission seat. Noble had 80 percent of the vote in early returns to just 19 percent for Tamra Dale II.
For the latest results, check spokesman.com.
In other Kootenai County races:
Clerk: Jim Brannon, appointed county clerk in December, was leading GOP opponent Don Pischner 65 percent to 35 percent. Democrats were on track to nominate Larry Belmont, former longtime director of Panhandle Health District, for clerk with 76 percent of the vote, over Alanna Brooks, a Ron Paul delegate in 2008, who had 24 percent.
Assessor: Republican incumbent Mike McDowell was far ahead among Republican voters with 85 percent, versus 15 percent for real estate appraiser Patrick Galles. And the only Democrat named on the ballot, longtime conservative Larry Spencer, was trailing with 44 percent of the vote; 56 percent of the votes were cast for a write-in candidate, presumably Shirley McFadden, who had the support of the Democratic Party in the county.
Treasurer: Laurie Thomas, the county’s chief deputy treasurer, and Steven Matheson, who works in financial management in the private sector, were running almost even in early results. On the Democratic side, retired certified public accountant and former IRS agent Janet Callen had a whopping 91 percent of the vote, with the rest going to retired firefighter Gordy Ormesher.
Coroner: Republican Warren Keene, an emergency room physician at Kootenai Health, was ahead of incumbent Debbie Wilkey. Keene had 58 percent of the vote to Wilkey’s 42 percent. No one filed as a Democrat.