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4 County Officials Oppose Measure

Four elected officials from Kootenai County — Assessor Mike McDowell (pictured), Clerk Cliff Hayes, Treasurer Tom Malzahn and Coroner Debbie Wilkie — have sent Huckleberries a news release raising concerns about the proposal to change county government. All four hold offices that would be appointive if voters pass the November ballot measure. They write:

“This press release is intended to offer another perspective (and more specific details) about the “Optional Forms of County Government” question the County Commissioners have placed on the November 6 ballot.  We hope you find the question & answer format used in this release to be informative. Optional forms of county government is a simple-sounding concept that actually has many potentially negative consequences.  Therefore, several of us at Kootenai County are willing to meet with groups holding educational forums or debates leading up to the general election.” You can read their concerns here.

Question: My greatest concern is that 2 radicals could win commissioner seats and then appoint allies to important positions? What concerns you?

County Newcomers Sworn Into Office

Item: Time to serve: County officials take the oath of office, get right to work/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Diligence and change is what they promise. And they expect to deliver right away. Speeches were full of thanks and hope on Monday morning at the swearing-in ceremony for Kootenai County's newly elected officials, including two new commissioners, a new clerk and new coroner.'

Question: Which new elected official in the Kootenai County Courthouse will have the biggest impact? Why?

Quotable Quote — Debbie Wilkey

“It’s my intention that the legacy of the current coroner doesn’t end with him. I’ll use everything I have to make sure you get the best cause of death” — Kootenai County Coroner-elect Debbie Wilkey in Coeur d’Alene Press. Full story here.

Question: Which “best cause of death” would you want on your certificate?

Coroner Hopefuls Fund Own Campaigns

The 4 Kootenai County coroner candidates are almost entirely funding their primary campaigns by personal loans. Demo Jody DeLuca Hissong has the most money on hand, after loaning herself $3000. Hissong is running unopposed for the Dem nomination. Douglas Stafford, Debbie Wilkey and Tom Cronin are seeking the Republican nomination:

  • Jody DeLuca Hissong has raised #615 and spent $231, for a balance of $3383. She has loaned her campaign $3000. She has received 2 contributions of $100 or more, including one from Todd Tondee for $150. Jody DeLuca Hissong report here.
  • Douglas Stafford has loaned himself and spent $2059. Douglas Stafford report here.
  • Debbie Wilkey’s report is hard to read. She seems to say that she has raised $1223 and spent $2971, and has a balance of $848 and outstanding debt of $209. There’s some in-kind money in the mix. I’ll let you figure it out yourself with her report here.
  • Tom Cronin has loaned his campaign and spent $948. Tom Cronin report here.

Coroner West Endorses Debbie Wilkey

Long-time Coroner Robert West explains to SReporter Alison Boggs why he decided to endorse Deputy Coroner Debbie Wilkey for his job: “Three months ago, I would have chosen to stay completely out of it. But my feeling is that the coroner’s job is a ‘full-time, boots on the ground’ requirement. You’ve got to be committed to getting up at 2 o’clock in the morning and driving to wherever it is Plummer or Harrison or Athol. That requires a lot of commitment and it also requires people that have demonstrated working relationships with law enforcement and with funeral homes and with the public. You can’t run the coroner’s office from your desk and you can’t run it from home. I’m not law enforcement and I’m not the prosecutor. It’s my job to speak for the deceased, the victims, and the only way you can do that is if you’re willing to get out of bed. You have to be there. It’s not something that will wait until 8 o’clock the next morning.” Full comment here.

Question: Should Coroner Robert West have stay completely out of this race? Or do you appreciate his endorsement? Does it influence you?

Repubs Schedule Coroner Debate

The three Republican candidates for Kootenai County coroner — Tom Cronin, Douglas R. Stafford, and Debbie Wilkey — will participate in a debate Thursday, sponsored by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. The event is scheduled for noon at the Song Bird Theater, 315 Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene. The current Coroner, Dr. Robert West is retiring and the May 25 Republican Primary will decide who will face Democrat Jody DeLuca Hissong in November.

Question: How will you decide which coroner candidate gets your vote?