Here’s a look at the contested races and ballot measures affecting Spokane and Kootenai counties on the Nov. 4 primary election ballot.
The 5th Congressional District sprawls across much of the eastern fourth of Washington, all or parts of 10 counties stretching from Canada to Oregon, with about half of the voters in Spokane County. Except for the cities of Pullman and Walla Walla, the other nine counties have been solidly Republican in congressional and presidential elections for the last 20 years when a novice Republican defeated a Democrat who was the sitting speaker of the House. Incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers has risen steadily in House GOP leadership during her 10 years in Congress. To get a sixth term, she must defeat Joe Pakootas, a leader of the Colville Confederated Tribes and the chief executive officer of its business operations, who accuses McMorris Rodgers of spending so much time in Washington, D.C., that she’s lost touch with a district that struggles with high unemployment while House Republicans waste time on things like multiple votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The term is two years and the position pays $174,000 per year.
• Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R), 45, Spokane. MBA University of Washington. Incumbent U.S. representative serving as House GOP Conference chairwoman; former state representative, former legislative aide. She says she’s fighting for key issues in the region, such as protecting the mission and personnel at Fairchild Air Force Base, keeping the cost of energy low with federal dams and improving the economy by removing government roadblocks.
• Joe Pakootas (D), 57, Inchelium. MBA University of Washington. CEO Colville Tribal Federal Corp., former executive director of medical and dental services for Kalispel Tribe. First run for political office outside of tribe, former tribal chairman and business council member. He points out things he’d support that the incumbent does not, such as the Lily Ledbetter Act for wage equity for women, the Affordable Care Act and the Senate immigration reform bill.
State lawmakers are paid $42,106 per year and are eligible for health care benefits and session stipends. Terms are four years in the state Senate and two years in the state House.
3rd Legislative District
This district represents central Spokane, including the downtown area, and is among the only solidly Democratic strongholds in Eastern Washington.
House pos. 1: This is a rematch from two years ago. Democratic incumbent Marcus Riccelli is running on his first-term record of bipartisan collaboration and securing state dollars for projects such NEWTECH Skill Center, the North Spokane Corridor, the MAC and the Peaceful Valley Community Center. His focus is better access to education and expanding services for children and families. Challenger Tim Benn identifies himself as an independent Republican and is a small-business owner who wants to cut business taxes, which he says will create jobs and boost the economy. He is opposed to national education standards and believes public schools can do a better job with existing available funding.
• Marcus Riccelli (D), 36, served as U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Eastern Washington director, and as senior policy adviser to then-state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown. He is an adjunct professor in the College of Health and Sciences and Public Health at Eastern Washington University.
• Tim Benn (R), 36, co-owns Little Precious Ones Childcare in the Minnehaha neighborhood together with his wife, Shannon. In 2013, he helped form the group Parents & Providers 4 Children, which successfully passed a regulation reform bill that lessened regulations for small home-based child care providers. He’s a precinct committee officer and a member of the board of the Spokane County GOP.
House pos. 2: It is difficult to find two more different candidates than Democratic incumbent state Rep. Timm Ormsby and Libertarian challenger Paul Delaney. Ormsby promises to support education, affordable health care, jobs with benefits and providing a safety net for the most vulnerable. Delaney describes himself as a Constitutionalist and believes government is too big and abusing its power meddling in people’s lives.
• Timm Ormsby (D), 55, won this seat in 2003 and has held it since. His background is in construction. He is the vice chair of the Capital Budget Committee, and of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, among other committee assignments. He is married to Kim Ormsby and has three children and a grandchild.
• Paul Delaney (Libertarian), 50, is running on a traditional Libertarian platform aiming to reduce the size of government and lower taxes.
4th Legislative District
Located east of Spokane to the Idaho border, and north to Mount Spokane State Park, the district’s population base resides primarily in Spokane Valley.
House pos. 1: The race features two legislative newcomers but both come with significant name recognition. The appointed incumbent, Leonard Christian, was ousted in the primary, leaving former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite to battle it out with Spokane Valley Planning Commissioner Bob McCaslin, the son of the late Sen. Bob McCaslin. He has the same first and last name as his father but a different middle name. Both candidates are Republicans and believe their level of experience is an asset, with Wilhite pointing to her years of working with people of all political stripes to get things done. McCaslin, however, says his inexperience in elective office is an asset because he didn’t have a role in creating the often divisive type of politics that is all too common now.
Both are running as Republicans, though McCaslin calls himself a conservative Republican and touts his endorsement by State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley.
• Bob McCaslin (R), 56, kindergarten teacher; serves on the Spokane Valley Planning Commission. Advocates limited government, warns of looming tyranny and the importance of gun rights as “the last line of defense.” Describes himself as both a fiscal and social conservative.
• Diana Wilhite (R), 68, business consultant and former Spokane County Republican Party chairwoman; co-founded Safeguard Business Systems in 1980, sold in 2011. Served on Spokane Valley City Council, 2002 to 2009, holding positions as deputy mayor and mayor; currently serves on Spokane Valley Fire Department Civil Service Commission. Promises to bring her experience as a fiscal conservative to the Legislature and work to attract new businesses to Washington state.
House pos. 2: This is another Republican vs. Republican matchup, and both flaunt their conservative bona fides as a reason to vote for them. Matt Shea, the incumbent, is running on a “liberty” agenda: gun rights, a Christian America and limiting an out-of-control government. Arritola is the less ideological yet still conservative candidate, primarily on issues of taxation, who says his experience owning a business gives him the knowledge to bring jobs to the region. Josh Arritola says finishing the North Spokane Corridor is paramount. Shea, who has not responded to many calls seeking comment, is “pro-jobs, pro-family, pro-guns, pro-life,” according to his website.
• Matt Shea (R), 40, Spokane Valley; lawyer, incumbent state legislator, criticized for fringe views and actions, such as being an outspoken member of the revolution-ready Oath Keepers, warning people of the “inevitable collapse” of the American economy and visiting and supporting Cliven Bundy, a controversial Nevada rancher backed by an armed militia who challenged the federal government over grazing rights.
• Josh Arritola (R), 33, Chattaroy; business consultant, highly critical of Shea’s performance in Olympia, specifically when it comes to representing the business interests of the Inland Northwest. Top priority is finishing the North Spokane Corridor, which he said could make the region a major business center, in part because energy firms connected with Canada’s Athabasca oil sands project could locate here. Supports opening unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance to private management.
6th Legislative District
Located primarily on the South Hill, this district also extends into Cheney and northwest Spokane.
Senate: Typically one of the most expensive seats in the Legislature, this race features two candidates who both lost congressional bids two years ago and both consider boosting the region’s economy among their top priorities. The GOP incumbent, Michael Baumgartner, is running on his first-term record in the state Senate, which includes fighting for medical education opportunities in Spokane and working to bring government spending under control. Democrat Rich Cowan is running on his record as a successful businessman who knows what it takes to build companies and create jobs. Both want to boost the region’s economy and secure funding for completion of the North Spokane Corridor, all of which will be debated against a backdrop of finding money to comply with court-ordered increases to K-12 education spending.
• Michael Baumgartner (R), 38, Spokane; consultant, state senator; served in Middle East with the U.S. State Department; helped orchestrate conservative takeover of state Senate in 2013, spearheaded last year’s tuition freeze at state universities, led drive to consolidate state agencies; unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2012. Promises to support continued expansion of medical education in Spokane and reform reckless spending.
• Rich Cowan (D), 58, Spokane; co-founder/CEO of North by Northwest studio, former KHQ TV community affairs director; has drawn 45 Hollywood productions to Inland Northwest, including 13-episode cable TV series currently in production; unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in 2012. Supports WSU’s bid for its own Spokane medical school, and policies that rebuild the region’s economy by improving middle class opportunities.
House pos. 1: Both candidates describe education as their top priority and openly praise each other for running issue-focused campaigns, but that’s as far as the similarities go. Three-term GOP incumbent Kevin Parker is running on his record as a fiscal conservative who promotes greater state support, including tax breaks, for fledgling entrepreneurs. Parker wants lawmakers to first fund K-12 education to comply with court mandates and then decide how to provide other state services. Democrat Donald Dover contends lawmakers have been shortchanging education for years and wants to make up for that without penalizing other critical state services, even if it means generating additional revenue either through tax increases, elimination of tax breaks or a combination of both.
• Kevin Parker (R), 40, coffee franchise owner, incumbent state representative. Led efforts to toughen penalties against human trafficking, help homeless find jobs, and enhance budget accountability. Wants to promote job creation through efforts such as easing B&O tax burden on startup businesses, which he describes as a proactive rather than reactive approach. Wants to link transportation improvements to spending reforms.
• Donald Dover (D), 54, former WSU administrator; advocates taxing video game consoles and Internet porn to help raise money for K-12 education; wants transportation money allocated for stalled Western Washington projects shifted to the North Spokane Corridor. Opposes any restrictions on women’s health and reproductive rights. Ran for Cheney City Council in 1983 during a break from college.
House pos. 2: For a while, it appeared Republican incumbent Jeff Holy would ease into a second term unopposed but Democrat Ziggy Siegfried, a veteran of the Occupy Spokane movement, filed as a write-in candidate and captured 1.66 percent of the vote in the August primary, enough to secure a spot on the November ballot. Holy is a fiscal conservative who puts public safety and job creation at the top of his priority list, while Siegfried wants to boost wages for working families by any means necessary.
• Jeff Holy (R), 59, lawyer, retired Spokane police detective. Promises to seek greater state support for infrastructure improvements that would boost aerospace and other industrial development on the West Plains, as well as other transportation priorities; fund K-12 education first, then other state services with whatever is left over; push to make government more efficient.
• Ziggy Siegfried (D), 56, maintenance worker at WSU Spokane campus; part-time landscaper. Promises to promote policies that boost wages for working families, including increasing state’s minimum wage; close corporate tax breaks and consider tax increases if necessary to pay for K-12 education and a transportation packge that includes money for critical Spokane-area projects.
7th Legislative District
One of the state’s largest, it covers much of northeastern Washington, including parts of Spokane County north of the Spokane city limits, all of Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry counties, and part of Okanogan County. It has some of the highest unemployment figures in the state.
Senate: This race features Brian Dansel, a Ferry County commissioner who served in the 2014 session after winning the seat in a special election last year, and Tony Booth, a Colville auto dealer, making his first run for political office. One issue evolving as the campaign progresses – how the state should handle the growing number of wolves in northeast Washington.
• Brian Dansel (R), 31, Republic; Ferry County commissioner, golf pro. Recruited to play golf at Walla Walla Community College where he gained an associate’s degree and later gained entrance into the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA), playing as a professional and giving golf lessons. In 2010, he was elected to the Ferry County Commission.
• Tony Booth (R), 43, Colville; auto dealer in Colville and Okanogan. Associate of arts degree from Green River Community College, business degree from General Motors University. He’s not accepting contributions or endorsements, funding the campaign himself and taking “the careful road” in campaigning because of his business interest in the district.
House pos. 1: Three-term incumbent Shelly Short faces a challenge from Libertarian James Apker. She’s stressing her experience, both in the Legislature and on the staffs of U.S. Reps. George Nethercutt and Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Apker is saying she’s “a trained politician” and the voters are tired of Republicans and Democrats. Both are fiscal conservatives opposed to tax increases.
• Shelly Short (R), 52, Addy. State representative, former legislative and congressional aide, serves as top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee. Former paralegal and legal secretary. Attended Spokane Community College and Eastern Washington University.
• James Apker (L), 38, Spokane. Electronics installation and service technician. First run for office. Attended Spokane Community College and Edmonds Community College. Mentored young adults at the Spokane Skill Center.
House pos. 2: Five-term incumbent Joel Kretz is the House Republicans’ assistant leader facing a challenge from Ronnie Rae, an attorney who describes himself as an independent moderate running on a shoestring because he says he’s sickened by the amount of money in politics. Rae says he’s running to give voters a choice. Kretz says he hasn’t seen the challenger at campaign forums but Rae says that’s because he hasn’t been invited to many.
• Joel Kretz (R), 57, Wauconda. State representative with ranch and small logging operation. Attended Green River and Olympic colleges. Says he wants to continue efforts to get legislators and residents from Puget Sound area to realize that resource-based industries are as important to northeast Washington as Boeing jobs are to them.
• Ronnie Rae (Centrist), 37, Loon Lake. Lawyer, partner in property management company, owns bee and egg farm. Works as a public defender in Airway Heights and defense counsel in Ferry, Okanogan, Stevens and Spokane courts. Said he struggles with low voter motivation and thinks some voters in the district are concerned he’s gay.
County commissioner:The Republican bloc on the County Commission could crack if challenger Mary Lou Johnson can defeat longtime politician Al French. The biggest issue in the campaign thus far has been urban growth boundaries. Johnson, an attorney making her first run at public office, says the county needs to look at developing areas already connected to sewer. She’s also made criminal justice reform a major part of her platform. French, who has served in public office at both the city and county levels, is touting his record of job creation on the West Plains and says urban growth expansion is necessary to incorporate areas in north Spokane County with aging sewer infrastructure. The County Commission is the three-pronged legislative body of the entire county. Four-year term. Position pays $93,000 a year.
• Al French (R), 63; architect and incumbent county commissioner; former Spokane City Council member (2002 to 2009), chairs the Spokane Transit Authority board, Marine Corps veteran and president of the Nevada-Lidgerwood Neighborhood Council.
• Mary Lou Johnson (D), 67; retired attorney at the U.S. District Court; former family nurse practitioner and instructor, “Smart Justice” presenter in development of the “Blueprint for Reform” approved by the Spokane Regional Justice Commission as a volunteer attorney with the Center for Justice.
County prosecutor:Spokane County will have its first new prosecutor in 16 years when the ballots are tallied in November. Competing for the job are Larry Haskell, a deputy prosecutor with the office, and Breean Beggs, a private-practice attorney specializing in civil rights cases. Republican Haskell touts his 16 years of experience in the prosecutor’s office trying criminal cases and endorsements from area law enforcement. Democrat Beggs says he’ll institute more “Smart Justice” reforms in the county, seeking further use of alternative case resolution to ease overcrowding at the jail and seek outside review of potential criminal cases involving law enforcement. The county prosecuting attorney oversees all litigation involving the county, including both criminal and civil cases. Four-year term. Position pays $148,176.50 a year.
• Larry Haskell (R), 60, Spokane; deputy prosecutor in the gang unit; former Air Force pilot, earned his law degree in 1997 and was immediately hired by the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office, served a year with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Washington, prior member of the Airway Heights City Council and Cheney School Board.
• Breean Beggs (D), 50, Spokane; private practice attorney specializing in civil law; former head of the Center for Justice, represented the family of Otto Zehm while with the Center for Justice, participated as “Smart Justice” presenter in development of the “Blueprint for Reform” approved by the Spokane Regional Criminal Justice Commission.
Sheriff: Serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the county. The sheriff provides law enforcement coverage for the county’s unincorporated areas and several cities, including Spokane Valley, Deer Park and Medical Lake. In addition, the sheriff oversees emergency management and is the person in charge of dealing with natural disasters. Salary: $117,000.
• Ozzie Knezovich (R), 51, was initially appointed sheriff by Spokane County commissioners in April 2006. He won election that fall and was re-elected without opposition in 2010. He is a lifelong law enforcement officer, having served in Superior, Wyo., Rock Springs, Wyo., and Olympia. He is the former president of the Spokane County deputies association. Knezovich is married and has three adult children.
• Doug Orr (R), 49, is a longtime Spokane city police detective, currently assigned to sex abuse crimes. He has a doctoral degree in criminal justice from Washington State University. He previously served as an officer for the Greenville, S.C., police and Idaho State Police. He also teaches a range of criminal justice classes for WSU Spokane. Orr is married and has two adult children.
Treasurer: Manages funds for the county and other local governmental subdivisions, including school districts and special purpose districts. The department also authorizes disbursements from the county and those local governments. The office has 24 employees. Term is four years. Salary is $88,350 per year.
• Rob Chase (R), 61, Liberty Lake, incumbent county treasurer. Chase mounted a write-in campaign in 2010 to secure a spot on the general election ballot and defeated incumbent Skip Chilberg in an upset. Listed as a Republican, Chase said his politics are closer to Libertarian. He has advocated reducing interest charges on delinquent property taxes, and worked to change state law to allow partial payments on past-due taxes.
• Amy Biviano (D), 39, Spokane Valley, certified public accountant. Biviano is a former county Democratic Party chairwoman and lost a bid for the Legislature two years ago. She describes herself as a fiscal conservative looking to bring more financial management experience to the treasurer’s office.
Assessor: Incumbent Vicki Horton is making her first re-election bid for assessor, running against former East Valley School Board director and private real estate appraiser Roger Trainor. Horton, who joined the Assessor’s Office as an appraiser in 2000, defeated her former boss in the 2010 election. She argued against the office paying the entirety of a contract for aerial photography, wanting other agencies to form a cooperative and foot the bill. Trainor is running on a platform of greater transparency and more streamlined property tax exemptions for the elderly and veterans. The Assessor’s Office employs a staff of 44 people who establish the property values for all property within the county: industrial, residential and commercial. Four-year term. Position pays $88,350 a year.
• Vicki Horton (R), 60, Spokane; appraiser, incumbent county assessor; former chief deputy assessor in Clearwater County, Idaho; former dispatcher for Clearwater County; defeated incumbent assessor Ralph Baker in 2010 election running on reorganization of the office.
• Roger Trainor (R), 55, Newman Lake; landlord and real estate appraiser; former director of the East Valley School Board, board president of the Landlord Association of the Inland Northwest, lifelong resident of Spokane area.
Auditor:This is an administrative position with several duties. The auditor is the chief elections officer for Spokane County; handles recording for deeds and other legal transactions; manages local vehicle licensing; maintains county financial records.
• Vicky Dalton (D), 53, Spokane Valley, has served four terms of four years each as auditor and currently is the only Democrat holding partisan county office. She is a certified public accountant with private accounting experience, and wants to continue applying professional standards to the office.
• Alene Lindstrand (R), 63, Spokane, is calling for a change, especially in oversight of elections. She is concerned about the risk of election fraud. Lindstrand founded a small pallet manufacturer and currently works as a real estate agent. She serves on the Spokane County Planning Commission.
Clerk: This position manages legal filings and case records for the county’s Superior Court. The county has 238,000 case files.
• Tim Fitzgerald (R), 54, Deer Park, was appointed county clerk last April to fill the position vacated by longtime retiring clerk Tom Fallquist. He spent 30 years in the Marines, retiring as a colonel in 2013. He said his command positions involved military legal matters.
• Mary M. Wissink (D), 57, Spokane, qualified for the November ballot by filing as a write-in candidate in the primary and getting enough votes to advance. She said she wants to give voters a choice in their new elected clerk. Wissink has experience in the legal system, having served as a paralegal and judicial assistant among other legal office jobs.
Washington Supreme Court
This is Washington’s court of last resort and has been getting a lot of attention following its decision to hold the state in contempt for the Legislature’s failure to fully fund basic education, but just two of the four positions on the ballot are contested. The positions are nonpartisan. Terms are six years and justices are paid $166,221 a year.
Position 4: Longtime Tacoma-area lawyer Eddie Yoon is challenging Justice Charles W. Johnson, who is seeking a fifth term.
• Challenger Eddie Yoon , 66, University Place, served as an assistant Tacoma city attorney before opening a private practice and now teaches part of the year at a women’s law school in Korea. He specializes in criminal defense and civil rights litigation.
• Justice Charles Johnson , 63, Gig Harbor, is the court’s longest serving jurist. He joined the majority in issuing the controversial McCleary decision in 2012, concluding that the Legislature has failed to comply with the state’s constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education. He noted earlier this year the court could declare all state tax exemptions unconstitutional, which would raise more than enough revenue, if the Legislature again fails to develop a plan.
Position 7: Disbarred Seattle lawyer John (Zamboni) Scannell is challenging Justice Debra L. Stephens, a Spokane native who authored the majority opinion upholding a disciplinary panel’s decision to pull Scannell’s license to practice law.
• Justice Debra L. Stephens , 49, now living in Olympia, is perhaps best known these days as the author of the majority opinion in the controversial McCleary case, and the decision to hold the state in contempt for its failure to fully fund basic education, and disputes assertions that the court is overstepping its bounds. She joined the high court in 2008 and is the only current member who comes from Eastern Washington.
• John (Zamboni) Scannell , 66, Seattle, was disbarred in 2010 following years of wrangling over conflict-of-interest allegations. Although still unable to practice in state courts, he was reinstated in 2012 to practice before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after a two-year suspension.
Spokane County District Court
Often called traffic and small-claims court, this also is where misdemeanor cases, such as trespassing, shoplifting and DUI offenses, are adjudicated. District Court judges also can issue search warrants and domestic violence restraining orders. The positions are nonpartisan. Terms are four years; annual pay is $148,881.
Position 2: Longtime incumbent Judge Sara Derr is being challenged by Chris Bugbee, a former deputy prosecutor now known for his work as a criminal defense attorney. Bugbee points to criticisms about the court in a 2013 “Blueprint for Reform” by the Spokane Regional Criminal Justice Commission and says it’s time for a change on the bench. Derr said the criticisms are unfounded opinions and that judges have enacted many reforms in recent years.
• Chris Bugbee , 47, began practicing law in 1995 after graduating from the University of the Pacific-Sacramento School of Law. He worked as a Spokane County deputy prosecuting attorney from 1996 to 2002, when he went into private practice as a defense attorney. He has been licensed to practice law in Idaho since 2002. He ran unsuccessfully for Spokane County prosecutor in 2010.
• Sara Derr , 63, graduated from the Gonzaga University School of Law in 1983. She worked in private practice with her mother, Antoinette Derr, for 12 years handling civil cases. She was a Spokane County District Court judge pro-tem for four years before being elected judge in 1994.
Position 5: This race pits longtime incumbent Judge Gregory Tripp against challenger James Richard Reierson, a former Kootenai County deputy prosecutor who resigned his position in August to campaign full time. Tripp was appointed to his position in 1997 and has been elected four times since then. Tripp said he wants everyone who appears in his court to feel like they’ve been treated fairly and looks forward to further innovations like drug court, domestic violence court and the option for people to pay their traffic fines in several payments. Reierson said he has been a “zealous” prosecutor and believes it’s time for someone with different experience and a new point of view to take over the position.
• Gregory Tripp , 65, has served as a District Court judge since 1997. Previously he was in general private practice with some criminal defense attorney work. He has been a lawyer for 41 years and has served on numerous legal committees and been active in civic groups. He was named 2014 Judge of the Year by the Washington State Misdemeanants Corrections Association.
• James Richard Reierson , 64, worked for the Kootenai County Prosecutors Office for 15 years before he resigned. Previously he was a deputy prosecutor in Walla Walla. He served in the Navy submarine service after high school and received his law degree in 1982. He has never held elected office, though he ran unsuccessfully for Spokane County District Court judge in 1998 and in 2002 and Spokane County prosecutor in 2006 and again in 2010.
Position 7: The race between incumbent Judge Randy Brandt and challenger Aimee Mauer is one between experience or change. Brandt stresses his experience in law and as a judge. A political ad mailed from his campaign quotes County Prosecutor Steve Tucker saying the county is a “better place to live” with Brandt on the bench. But Mauer argues that District Court has been stagnant and notes that Brandt is the court’s presiding judge. She points to the “Blueprint for Reform” from the Spokane Regional Criminal Justice Commission, which suggested that the court was unwilling to make changes to bring efficiency to the justice system.
• Randy A. Brandt , 63, earned law degree from Gonzaga University in 1988; appointed to his court judge position in 2011 by the Spokane County Commission; served as a court commissioner for District Court from 2003 until 2009; operated his own law office from 1988 until appointed a court commissioner in 2003; worked as a real estate broker in the 1970s and 1980s.
• Aimee Maurer , 40, earned law degree from Gonzaga University in 2006; worked as a Spokane County deputy prosecutor from 2007 to 2009; practiced law in local law firms for a few years until she and her husband opened their own firm this year, representing mostly injury plaintiffs.
Position 8: For Timothy Trageser, a longtime criminal defense attorney, the top issue in his race for judge is experience in criminal law. He says he’s defended at least 7,000 accused criminals in federal and state courts. That experience, he said, would translate into better decisions when it comes to sentencing or deciding what defendants are best to participate in alternative programs. The incumbent, Richard Leland, notes that he had criminal experience before his appointment to the bench last year but also has a strong financial background and extensive experience in civil law, including family law.
• Richard M. Leland , 61, appointed a judge by the Spokane County Commission in 2013; graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 1989; he focused on tort litigation, family law, business law and other cases when working within law firms and in private practice; worked as public defender for the city of Spokane; was the district director for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers; worked as a lending officer at the Farm Credit System.
• Timothy D. Trageser , 50, has focused primarily on criminal defense work since he graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 1988; contracted to be Pend Oreille County’s public defender from 1996-2012; served two years as a Spokane County public defender and served briefly as a temporary District Court judge in Pend Oreille County.
Initiative 1351: Washington’s class-size reduction initiative calls for smaller teacher-to-student ratios in all grades by 2019. The initiative goes beyond the state Supreme Court’s mandated reductions.
Kindergarten through third-grade classes would have fewer than 17 students each and only 15 children per teacher in high poverty schools. Fourth through 12th grades would have fewer than 25 students per class and only 22 or fewer students in low-income areas.
The Office of Financial Management estimates I-1351 would add would add $4.7 billion to the cost of K-12. Thousands more employees would need to be hired, as many as 17,081 school-based staff, including teachers and support personnel.
A majority of studies show that smaller teacher-to-student ratios are beneficial to students, especially in the younger grades. Critics describe it as just another piece of legislation that calls for change without a funding source.
Gun control initiatives
Gun rights groups backed by national Second Amendment organizations square off this fall against national gun-control advocates in a high-profile – and big-spending – fight over expanding background checks in Washington state. Those who want tougher background checks have raised more than $8 million, much of it from the state’s wealthiest residents. Those who want to put the brakes on any such expansion have raised about $1.2 million to pass an alternative measure.
Initiative 591: The first of two gun-control-related initiatives on the ballot, I-591 would bar any change in the state’s background check law that is stricter than the federal standard and outlaws confiscation of firearms without due process.
Supporters, led by the Protect our Gun Rights Coalition, say any change in background checks need to be nationwide because criminals can easily cross state lines to get guns. They warn that tougher gun control laws will be pushed on Washington communities and warn of warrantless searches to confiscate guns.
Opponents, who support I-594, say this measure puts background checks in the hands of Congress, not state voters, and allows current loopholes that allow people who couldn’t pass background checks at stores to buy guns from private sellers.
Initiative 594: The second of two gun-control initiatives on the ballot, I-594 would expand the current background checks the federal government requires for purchases from licensed gun dealers to be expanded to most other private sales.
Supporters, led by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, say current laws have too many loopholes that allow sales by private owners out of their homes or at gun shows that require no background checks for criminal records, domestic violence or mental health issues that can be flagged during sales at dealers.
Opponents, including gun-rights groups who support I-591, say the initiative is too long, too complicated and so specific it could require a background check every time a person loans a firearm to a friend or relative – a claim that supporters say has not happened in any state with similar provisions.
City of Spokane
Street Levy (Proposition 1):This levy is touted as a way to maintain the level of street work done in Spokane over the past decade by the 2004 street bond without raising any tax rates. The levy would be matched with funding from the city’s Utilities department and grants from the state and federal government to generate an annually recurring $25 million for infrastructure maintenance under the city’s Integrated Clean Water Plan. Spokane residents currently pay 57 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to repay the 2004 bond, which will continue for the next 16 years without any more street work. This levy would pay that debt off in 20 years while generating $100 million in funding, contributing to half a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements. The city has the first two years of projects lined up if the levy passes: East Sprague Avenue, Ray Street, Havana Street and Five Mile Road, among others.
PRO: Spokane’s reputation is potholes. Proponents say citizens must invest in streets and infrastructure if the city wants to attract new businesses and grow. Additionally, they argue the city has shown that it’s a responsible steward of road building by the successful work done by the 2004 street bond, which came in under budget and under deadline.
CON: There is no organized effort against the levy.
Park Bond (Proposition 2): This bond would generate $60 million to refurbish Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane. The money would go toward implementing the Riverfront Park Master Plan, which was completed this year. The plan includes a new promenade through the park north from downtown, a new home for the Looff Carousel, a new ice rink near City Hall and updating the Pavilion, among other things. Spokane residents currently pay 34 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to pay off two existing park bonds. This bond would not increase that rate, but add a new bond and stretch out the time it takes to repay all three bonds. More than 60 percent of voters need to approve the measure for it to pass.
PRO: Proponents of the bond argue the park is a centerpiece of the community in bad need of an update. The last time the park saw such an infusion of money was 40 years ago, when it was created for Expo ’74. They also argue that its revitalization would encourage economic development downtown.
CON: There is no organized opposition to the park bond.
City of Airway Heights
Proposition 1: The city wants approval for a six-year emergency medical services levy of 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. The levy would begin in 2015.
Town of Rockford
Proposition 1: The town wants to replace an expiring fire protection services levy with a one-year levy of 51 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value in 2015. It would raise $12,400, a significant portion of the volunteer department’s budget.
Town of Spangle
Proposition 1: The town wants approval for a one-year fire protection services levy in 2015 of 1.50 per $1,000 of assessed home value. The levy would raise the $23,000 needed to pay for the town’s contract with Spokane County Fire District 3 for fire services. The levy is a renewal of a previous levy.
Proposition 2: The town wants to renew a one-year police protection services levy in 2015 of $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed home value. The levy was first approved in 2011 and has been renewed annually by voters. It would raise the $17,000 needed to pay for the town’s contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.
Spokane County Fire District 2
Proposition 1: The fire district, which includes the area of Spokane County surrounding the town of Fairfield, wants approval to enact a levy of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. The all-volunteer department wants to use the money for emergency medical services, including training. The six-year levy would begin in 2015.
Spokane County Fire District 12
Proposition 1: The district, which includes the area of southern Spokane County that includes the towns of Waverly and Latah, wants approval for a levy of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. The levy would provide the all-volunteer department with money for emergency medical services for six years beginning in 2015.
North Idaho voters will see two congressional races on their general elections ballots, one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats and the U.S. House seat representing the state’s 1st Congressional District. Congressional members are paid $174,000 per year. Senate terms are six years; House terms are two years.
Senate: Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, an attorney, rancher, former longtime state senator and briefly Idaho’s governor, is seeking a second term. He’s largely ignored his Democratic challenger, Boise attorney Nels Mitchell, agreeing to only one debate on a Boise TV station.
• Jim Risch (R), 71, Boise; attorney, incumbent U.S. senator. One of Idaho’s longest-serving state senators, he also served as lieutenant governor, and briefly as Idaho’s governor when then-Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was named U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Risch serves on the Intelligence, Foreign Relations, and Energy and Natural Resources Committees in the Senate. Ranked most conservative senator by the National Journal; he’s also among the Senate’s wealthiest members.
• Nels Mitchell (D), 60, Boise; attorney, first-time candidate. Former regional trial counsel for Securities and Exchange Commission; University of Idaho law graduate (as is Risch) and former Boise High School student body president. Pledges to serve just one six-year term if elected; says Risch has lost touch with Idaho. Promises to work with Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson on wilderness legislation, which Risch has opposed.
1st congressional district:Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador is seeking a third term in the House. He faces a challenge from longtime state Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow. Labrador is a tea party favorite who was unopposed in the GOP primary this year; Ringo has long been one of the most liberal members of the Idaho House. She is retiring from the Legislature this year as she takes on Labrador; he’s vastly outraised her, and the campaign has been low-key.
• Raul Labrador (R), 46, Eagle; immigration attorney, incumbent congressman. Labrador has been a frequent guest on national political shows and made an unsuccessful run for House majority leader this year; he’s openly bucked his party leadership. A native of Puerto Rico, Labrador is fluent in Spanish and one of just 10 Hispanic Republicans in the House. Prior to winning his congressional seat, Labrador served two terms in the Idaho House. He’s made immigration reform a top issue, but opposed the Senate’s package.
• Shirley Ringo (D), 74, Moscow; retired math teacher, state representative. After a 38-year career in teaching, including 25 years teaching math at Moscow High School, Ringo served seven terms in the Idaho House, where she pushed for more school funding and was an outspoken minority member of the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. A former Latah County Democratic Party chair, she was a vocal opponent of the voter-rejected “Students Come First” school reform laws; pushed for reforms to the state Tax Commission; and sponsored legislation to allow domestic violence victims to vote without disclosing their home addresses.
Governor: Two-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter is seeking a third consecutive term, which only one Idaho governor has ever won (Robert Smylie in 1962; Cecil Andrus served four terms, but they weren’t consecutive). Otter faces a challenge from Democrat A.J. Balukoff, who is hitting hard on Otter’s record on school funding, the economy and more. Also, Libertarian candidate John Bujak is challenging Otter from the right, contending the longtime libertarian Idaho politician has become too liberal. Four-year term. Position pays $119,000 a year.
• Butch Otter (R), 72, Star; incumbent governor, multimillionaire rancher, retired from J.R. Simplot Corp. Otter was first elected to the Idaho Legislature in 1972. He served 14 years as the state’s lieutenant governor, and three terms in Congress before being elected governor in 2006. He won his second term in 2010 with 59 percent of the vote. A rodeo enthusiast, Otter this year was named to the Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame.
• A.J. Balukoff (D), 68, Boise; businessman, retired CPA, and longtime chairman of the Boise School Board. Former owner of a large CPA firm and a chain of athletic clubs, Balukoff is part of the ownership groups of Boise’s Grove Hotel, the Idaho Steelheads hockey team, Century Link Arena, downtown office buildings and more. He was first elected to the Boise School Board in 1997; it oversees one of the highest performing school districts in the state. Active in civic and charitable efforts, Balukoff is the former bishop of his LDS church ward.
• John Bujak (L), 45, Eagle; attorney, former Canyon County prosecutor. Bujak was a Republican when, as Canyon County’s elected prosecutor, he faced charges including misuse of public funds for a contract he signed to have the county handle prosecutions for the city of Nampa; he was acquitted on all charges, and now maintains the GOP establishment was out to get him. A Navy veteran, he’s a former deputy attorney general and currently an attorney in private practice.
Also on the ballot: Steve Pankey, 63, Constitution Party; Jill Humble, 65, Indpendent; Pro-Life, 73, Indpendent.
Lieutenant Governor: As GOP Lt. Gov. Brad Little seeks a second full term in the part-time office, he’s being challenged by Democrat Bert Marley. Constitution Party candidate David Hartigan is on the ballot but hasn’t actively campaigned. Idaho’s lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate and fills in as acting governor; other duties are assigned by the governor, which in recent years have included economic development work and vetting candidates for state appointments. Four-year term. Position pays $35,700 a year.
• Brad Little (R), 60, Emmett; rancher and former chairman of the Idaho Wool Growers Association. Little is a third-generation Idahoan and scion of a well-known ranching family. A University of Idaho graduate, he served four terms in the state Senate before being appointed lieutenant governor by Gov. Butch Otter in 2009; he won a full term in 2010, and is now seeking another.
• Bert Marley (D), 66, McCammon. Along with a 23-year career as a high school teacher, Marley served two terms in the state House and three in the Senate. He ran unsuccessfully for state superintendent of schools in 2006, losing to Jana Jones in the Democratic primary. An Idaho State University graduate with a master’s degree from Utah State, Marley served as director of public policy for the Idaho Education Association before retiring.
Secretary of State:This contest is for an open seat due to the retirement of longtime GOP Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. Vying to take over are Republican Lawerence Denney, former speaker of the Idaho House, and state Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise. Four-year term. Position pays $101,150 a year.
• Lawerence Denney (R), 66, Midvale; farmer and nine-term state representative. Denney served four years as majority leader and three terms as House speaker, before becoming the first Idaho House speaker ousted by his own caucus in 2013. As speaker, he sponsored Idaho’s Voter ID law, unilaterally killed bills, removed committee chairs who didn’t toe the line, and quashed long-sought financial disclosure legislation for lawmakers. After his removal as speaker, he chaired the House Resources Committee. A Vietnam veteran, Denney is a University of Idaho graduate.
• Holli Woodings (D), 35, Boise; renewable energy consultant, first-term state representative. Woodings co-owns a high-tech firm with her husband, Ryan; she got her start in politics through volunteering to run a successful campaign for a school levy. She is a fair-elections advocate who has pushed for making voting easier, including unsuccessful legislation to allow voter registration when Idahoans register for a driver’s license. Woodings is a Boise State University graduate.
Treasurer:Idaho’s state treasurer, the state’s chief fiscal officer, is responsible for investing, receiving and disbursing state funds. GOP Treasurer Ron Crane is seeking a fifth term; while unopposed four years ago, he’s facing a lively challenge this time from Democrat Deborah Silver, a CPA, who’s pointed to critical state audits of the office in recent years. Four-year term. Position pays $101,150 a year.
• Ron Crane (R), 65, Nampa; incumbent state treasurer for the past 16 years and alarm company founder. Prior to being elected state treasurer in 1998, he served 16 years as a state representative from Canyon County, chairing the House State Affairs Committee. Crane holds an associate’s degree in religious education from Bible Missionary Institute in Rock Island, Illinois.
• Deborah Silver (D), 57, Twin Falls; certified public accountant. Silver has operated an accounting business in Twin Falls with her husband for the past 28 years. She also taught accounting at the College of Southern Idaho for five years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Boise State University. She has served as Twin Falls County Democratic Party chair since 2007.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: As two-term GOP Superintendent Tom Luna retires, there’s a hot race to succeed him between Democrat Jana Jones, the former chief deputy superintendent who narrowly lost to Luna in 2006, and Republican Sherri Ybarra, a political newcomer who won a four-way GOP primary in May with 28.7 percent of the vote. Four-year term. Position pays $101,150 a year.
• Jana Jones (D), 61, Idaho Falls; vice president for K-12 education practice at Maximus, a national consulting firm. She has a doctorate in education, taught school in Idaho Falls for 10 years, and operated a private school that was the state’s first to fully integrate children with disabilities, before she joined the state Department of Education, serving under three superintendents and rising to chief deputy under Superintendent Marilyn Howard. She also headed Gov. Cecil Andrus’ Office for Children.
• Sherri Ybarra (R), 43, Mountain Home; curriculum director and federal programs director for the Mountain Home School District. She has a master’s and is working toward a doctorate in education. Ybarra taught school in Mountain Home for 11 years before becoming a vice principal and then a principal; she’s in her second year in her current administrative position with the district. Has struggled with a series of gaffes during the campaign, from a campaign website that copied Jones’ to mistakenly identifying a former primary rival as a backer; she says she’s “not a polished politician.”
State lawmakers are paid $16,438 per year. All terms are two years.
2nd Legislative District
This district takes in northern and eastern Kootenai County, including Hayden and Dalton Gardens. It has just one contested race in November.
House seat A: Conservative Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, is seeking a third term in this heavily Republican district; he faces Democratic challenger Cheryl Stransky, in a rematch; he defeated her with almost two-thirds of the vote in 2012.
• Vito Barbieri (R), 62, Dalton Gardens; retired attorney, incumbent. Barbieri owns a catering business and the “Vap-It” electronic cigarette store in Post Falls. In his two terms in the House, he’s been an outspoken tea party supporter and opponent of Medicaid expansion and civil rights protections for gays. Barbieri is board chairman of the Open Arms crisis pregnancy center and clinic in Coeur d’Alene. A home-schooling advocate, he’s called on Christians to pull their children out of Idaho’s “Godless” public schools.
• Cheryl Stransky (D), 62, Dalton Gardens; retired longtime school counselor. Supports reprioritizing government spending to increase school funding, raising the minimum wage, and expanding Medicaid. Supporter of public schools. Backs construction of a state mental health crisis center in Coeur d’Alene, which Barbieri opposed. Former president of the North Idaho Counseling Association. Challenged Barbieri unsuccessfully in 2012, receiving 34.3 percent of the vote.
3rd Legislative District
This district takes in western and southern Kootenai County, including Post Falls and Rathdrum. It has just one contested race in November.
House seat A: First-term GOP Rep. Ron Mendive is being challenged by Democrat Michelle Lippert of Post Falls.
• Ron Mendive (R), 64, Coeur d’Alene; self-employed in construction and land services, semi-retired. After winning the GOP primary two years ago by nine votes, Mendive, an outspoken opponent of abortion, won office with nearly two-thirds of the vote. A backer of the Rally Right and United Conservatives of North Idaho, Mendive, on his campaign website, calls GOP Gov. Butch Otter “the Obamacare pusher.”
• Michelle Lippert (D), 60, Post Falls; philosophy instructor at North Idaho College. Lippert is the former chair of the faculty assembly and has been an elected school board member in Post Falls for the past 17 years. She became a candidate after a conversation with Mendive about a guns-on-campus bill that he supported, but that the state’s public colleges opposed; it passed.
4th Legislative District
This district consists of the city of Coeur d’Alene. It has two contested races.
Senate:After longtime Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, was defeated in the primary, GOP primary winner Mary Souza faces Constitution Party candidate Ray Writz in November; no Democrat is running.
• Mary Souza (R), 61, Coeur d’Alene; former critical care nurse and nursing instructor, former unsuccessful candidate for Coeur d’Alene mayor and City Council, author of a weekly email newsletter on local issues. Served on city Planning & Zoning Commission. Promises to support “conservative principles”; says she’s not aligned with any of the factions within the Kootenai County GOP, but knows and likes people in all of them.
• Ray Writz (Constitution Party), 63, Coeur d’Alene; businessman, longtime owner of janitorial business. Wants to “restore a constitutional republic in the state of Idaho.” Ran for state House in 2012 on Constitution Party ticket; took just under 4 percent of the vote.
House seat B:Third-term Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, faces a challenge from Democrat Anne Nesse, whom she defeated in 2012, 57 percent to 43 percent.
• Kathy Sims (R), 72, Coeur d’Alene; owner of the Coeur d’Alene Honda dealership and a former county Republican Party chair, seeking a third term in the House. She earlier served a term in the Senate after being appointed, but lost to Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, when redistricting pushed the two Republicans into the same district as she sought re-election. A critic of urban renewal laws and of the local redevelopment agency, she is vice chair of the House Local Government Committee.
• Anne Nesse (D), 66, Coeur d’Alene; former teacher and nurse and small-business operator, ran unsuccessfully against Sims two years ago, and since then has become an advocate for raising Idaho’s minimum wage, pushing for a voter initiative and forming the group RaiseIdaho.org. She’s continuing that push, looking at possible city initiatives. Though the measure didn’t receive enough signatures to make this year’s ballot, Nesse said her group learned that there’s widespread support in Idaho for the idea.
District 1 (Post Falls and the northwest corner of the county) : Republican Marc Eberlein defeated incumbent Todd Tondee in the GOP primary. Eberlein says voters have had enough of over-regulation, expensive consultants and “streamline power grabs” by county commissioners. He said he’ll demand more accountability, transparency and fiscal restraint and work to reduce turnover in the sheriff’s office. Democrat Bruce Noble favors a switch to five part-time commissioners and nonpartisan county seats. Both candidates support cleaning up the county’s land use code while protecting private property rights, and oppose a privately owned, leased jail with beds for inmates from outside the area. Four-year term. Position pays $72,858 a year.
• Marc Eberlein (R), 55, Post Falls. Manages Eberlein Fine Cabinetry; business owner for 28 years, including custom gun maker; investor in Bakken oil interests in Montana and North Dakota; ran unsuccessfully for commissioner in 2012.
• Bruce Noble (D), 61, Post Falls. Founder of HydroGen Energy; civil engineer and land surveyor since 1992; served on Idaho Commission for Libraries for 17 years; Kootenai Bridge Academy board chairman for three years; describes himself as politically moderate, calls his opponent “an anti-government ideologue.”
District 2 (Coeur d’Alene south of Dalton Avenue and the southern and eastern portions of the county): Open seat vacated by Commissioner Jai Nelson. Democrat Jerry Shriner highlights his work in corrections and with government agencies and nonprofits. He says the county must ease jail crowding by enhancing drug and mental health courts, probation services and work release programs. Commissioners need to consider a broader array of views to improve the land use code, Shriner said. Republican David Stewart touts his experience running large crews in business, construction and development. He’s a strong proponent of private property rights and low taxes, and believes county government has “become a policing force against the people.” Stewart was motivated to run by his opposition to the controversial Unified Land Use Code proposal. Two-year-term. Position pays $72,858 a year.
• Jerry Shriner (D), 71, Rockford Bay. Worked in probation and parole, residential treatment in Alaska; operated construction company in Kootenai County; started Harmony House Assisted Living homes in Hayden; active with local Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Committee, Panhandle Back Country Horsemen.
• David Stewart (R), 51, Cougar Bay. Owns ProFormance Lube Center in Spokane; was partner in Stewart Construction and Arrow Point Development companies; staunch conservative who believes global warming is a hoax and “more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens means less crime.”
Assessor:With 60 employees, the office sets property values, maps property boundaries, processes homeowner exemptions and manages vehicle license and title services. Republican Mike McDowell is seeking a fourth term. He wants to continue to improve customer service, including more online business, and make appraisal information more available and interactive. His focus is on being efficient and effective with the budget, and motivating the office staff. Challenger Shirley McFaddan, who prevailed in the primary as a write-in Democrat, said her goal is to keep the office running smoothly with the current staff and not micromanage. She says lines are still too long in vehicle services and she would address that. Four-year term. Position pays $70,684 a year.
• Mike McDowell (R), 59, Coeur d’Alene. First elected in 2002; was chief deputy assessor for two decades before that; Coeur d’Alene City Council, 1991-96.
• Shirley McFaddan (D), 60, Athol. Retired from Verizon, General Telephone; former schoolteacher; worked on family farm in southern Idaho; serves on Idaho Workforce Development Council; ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2012.
Clerk: With 85 employees, the office oversees county elections, recorder and auditor, and is clerk of the district court and Board of Commissioners. Republican Jim Brannon was appointed to the position last December after the death of Clerk Cliff Hayes. Brannon said the elections division continues to improve in reporting election results, but added he won’t sacrifice accuracy for expediency. He said the clerk’s office has led efforts to better track and fulfill public records requests and to streamline the $79 million county budget process. Democrat Larry Belmont said it’s time to look at qualifications, and not political muscle, for local elected offices. He said he’d bring a proven style of management to the office, which he believes should be nonpartisan. He’s not raising or spending campaign money and says he’d serve only one term. Four-year term. Position pays $70,684 a year.
• Jim Brannon: (R), 61, Coeur d’Alene. Worked in financial services as an investment broker, insurance agent and trust officer; previously worked as producer and director in television and radio; executive director of North Idaho Habitat for Humanity, 2006-09.
• Larry Belmont (D), 78, Coeur d’Alene. Directed Panhandle Health District for 27 years, retiring in 1998; former public health adviser, U.S. Public Health Service; Army and National Guard, 1953-58, with one tour in Korea; ran unsuccessfully for state House in 1998.
Treasurer: With seven employees, the treasurer is the county tax collector and chief investment officer of county funds. Republican Steven Matheson said as the county’s investment portfolio has grown larger and more complex, the treasurer’s office has not kept current with sound investment practices. For one, he is critical of the decision to invest in short-term instruments for the fund that will be used decades from now to close a county landfill. Matheson said he’d increase the duration of investment instruments to realize better returns and do more to ensure the soundness of county funds. Democrat Janet Callen bristles at Matheson’s approach. She said she’s a fiscal conservative and would manage the office in an open and transparent way, investing wisely and not risking county funds. Four-year term. Position pays $70,684 a year.
• Janet Callen (D), “past retirement age,” Coeur d’Alene. Retired certified public accountant and H&R Block franchise owner; former IRS agent; ran unsuccessfully for state House in 2012.
• Steven Matheson (R), 50, Coeur d’Alene. A municipal adviser and managing principal with Steven Douglas LLC; 28 years in financial management, including with JPMorgan Global Derivatives Products Group, Bank One Risk Management, Seattle First National Bank; volunteers with sheriff’s search and rescue.
Proposed constitutional amendment
HJR 2: This would add a clause to the Idaho Constitution protecting the Legislature’s ability to review and reject administrative rules from executive branch agencies, and making it clear that the governor could not veto such moves. Idaho’s Legislature already has that power, based on law and court decisions, but this would enshrine it in the constitution. Idaho has a more extensive process for legislative review of agency rules than any other state. HJR 2 passed the Legislature unanimously; it needs a majority vote of the people to take effect.
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