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McMorris Rodgers draws 3rd opponent as filing week closes

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers drew a third challenger and several other political races filled out Friday on the last day for candidates to file for office in Washington.

Tom Horne of Nine Mile Falls filed as a Republican against McMorris Rodgers, who is seeking a fifth term in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District. Horne hasn’t filed with the Federal Elections Commission or made a formal campaign announcement, and couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on his plans to unseat a fellow Republican. An internet search indicates he’s a firefighter and the inventor of the “Jake knife” a tool used by firefighters.

The race already includes independent Dave Wilson, a Spokane business consultant, and Democrat Joe Pakootas, chief executive officer of the corporation that manages Colville Tribal businesses.

Other last-day filings included former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite, who made it a three-way race for a 4th Legislative District House seat, which also includes appointed incumbent Leonard Christian and Valley school teacher Bob McCaslin Jr. Rep. Matt Shea filed for re-election to the other seat and drew a challenge from Josh Arritola, who runs a management consulting firm. All five 4th District candidates are Republicans.

Randy Glenn II, an information technology manager filed as a Libertarian in the 3rd Legislative District House race that already included incumbent Democrat Marcus Riccelli and Republican Tim Benn, a day care center co-owner. Glenn is one of three Libertarians in local legislative races, along with Paul Delaney of Spokane, who is running for the other 3rd District seat against Democratic Rep. Timm Ormsby, and James Apker of Mead, who is challenging 7th District Republican Rep. Shelly Short.

Donald Dover, a retired manager of distance learning programs for Washington State University filed against Republican Rep. Kevin Parker in the 6th District and Ronnie Rae, a Loon Lake attorney, filed with a “Centralist Party” preference against Republican Rep. Joel Kretz in the 7th District. Rae said that’s not a real party but a description of his political philosophy.

For a list of candidates who have filed for offices that would be on Spokane area ballots, click here to go inside the blog.

Sunday Spin: Clarification on candidate ad rules

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton wrote recently to say that at the urging of a legislator she had delved deeper into state election law than when we last spoke, and discovered state law does not require candidates to list the office or position they are seeking in advertising. That’s contrary to what was reported in last week’s column on possible jockeying in the 4th Legislative District.

It does, however, have rules for a candidate running for re-election to a seat currently or previously held, or to keep an appointed seat. So the office and position could come into play on advertising in those cases, she wrote.

The two House seats in Spokane Valley’s 4th Legislative District have seven announced candidates, all of them Republicans, but they’re unlikely to be the business primaries in the state.

That distinction is likely to go to Central Washington’s 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Richard “Doc” Hastings. Six Republicans and one Democrat have already notified the Federal Elections Commission they might run.

Also of note: The state usually has three Supreme Court races in an even-numbered year, but this year there will be four. Mary Yu, who was appointed to the seat of retired Justice Jim Johnson, must run for election and already has one opponent, Bruce Hilyer.

Yo, would-be candidates: Filing starts Monday

People thinking about running for local council or district offices who haven't yet made up their minds need to make a decision pretty quick. Filing week starts Monday morning.

On the ballot this year are council seats in cities and towns throughout Washington, as well as many mayoral slots. The City of Spokane has three openings — one for each council district — and the City of Spokane Valley has four at-large seats on this year's ballot. 

Neither of those cities have a mayor's race — Spokane's isn't until 2015 and Spokane Valley's mayor is chosen from the council — but Cheney, Deer Park, Fairfield, Latah, Medical Lake, Millwood and Rockford are all electing mayors this year.

Many school districts, fire districts, water districts and cemetery districts also have positions on the ballot.

Most races are non-partisan, but Eastern Washington's 7th Legislative District has a partisan race to fill a state Senate seat. Bob Morton resigned his seat at the end of last year, and John Smith, a Colville businessman, was appointed to fill the position at the start of the legislative session. To retain the seat, Smith will have to survive the August primary and win the November election.

Smith is a Republican, but under the state's Top 2 primary system, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary advance to the general election regardless of party. In the strongly Republican 7th District, it's not unusual for two GOP candidates to be on the general election ballot. 

Most candidates have until the elections office in their county closes on Friday afternoon to file for office. Candidates for offices in districts that cover more than one county, such as the 7th Legislative District, file with the Secretary of State in Olympia.

Filing week is nearly here. Candidates take note

Everyone thinking about running for political office this year, take note: You have less than a week to make up your mind. Everyone talking about running and acting like they’re already a full-fledged candidate, take note: It’s not official until you file your paperwork and pay your fee.

Candidate filing week starts Monday morning, and ends when the office where that paperwork and fee must be deposited closes on Friday. Here’s a tricky part – because of budget cutbacks, some county elections offices close as early as noon on Fridays, others at 4 p.m., and some stay open until 5 p.m. Anyone planning to wait until the very last minute to build suspense would be wise to make a phone call to the appropriate office and check when that last minute is.

For some positions that’s the county elections office in the county seat; for others, it’s the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia. How do you know what goes where?

Go inside the blog to read more, or to comment.

Thousands of folks want to run for office

OLYMPIA — A check of county elections office by the Secretary of State's Office indicates 2,132 people have filed for office as of the close of business Wednesday.

That's hump day for filing week, which ends whenever your local Elections Office shuts down on Friday. In Spokane, that's 4 p.m.

So for the undecided potential candidates out there, it's time to make up your mind.

The Spokane area's one legislative race, the 4th District Senate seat, has one candidate right now, but will have two by Thursday. Former Rep. Mike Padden filed Monday; current Sen. Jeff Baxter, who was appointed to the opening this year plans to file Thursday. Both are Republicans. Still no sign of a Democrat in the race.

Ah for the good old days

The first day of filing – actually the first few minutes – used to be the busiest and most interesting part of the week. Candidates would line up and camp out the night before in an effort to be the first person to file for a particular office. They’d play cards, tell stories, pass around a flask or two, make a dawn patrol run for coffee and donuts.
Being first in the door would mean the candidate’s name was listed first on the ballot for that position, a spot that can be worth a few extra percentage points, particularly in elections involving relatively unknown candidates or relatively uncontroversial offices.
Candidates shouldn’t go searching for their sleeping bag, though. The law was changed and now the ballot order is determined by a lottery after filing closes on Friday. Getting there at the crack of dawn Monday gives you the same chance of the top spot as beating the filing deadline by 30 seconds.
In Spokane County, the office will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other counties may open earlier or close later, so be sure to check if you’re timing a special trip.
Or you could save yourself the trip, file online and pay with a credit card. The Washington Secretary of State’s office, at www.sos.wa.gov has links to all the county elections offices. It also has addresses. You can print out a petition of candidacy, write a check and mail it in.

Reminder: Filing week starts tomorrow

OK candidates, listen up. Filing week starts tomorrow. Those of you who like the personal touch of filling out your forms and paying your fees in person can head down to your county elections office any time through Friday afternoon.

Don’t wait too long to file for office

Would-be candidates planning to wait for the last minute to file for office be advised: Make sure you know when the “last minute” is. Depending on where you file, it could be earlier than you think.
Washington candidates have until “the close of business” to file their initial paperwork. Traditionally, that meant 5 p.m. across the state. It was common to see unopposed incumbents gather at the elections office about 4:45 p.m. on Friday of filing week to see if they’d drawn any challengers. Fence-sitting candidates might wait until 4:55 p.m. to get into a race with weak or no competition. And sometimes a person who’d become sidetracked with work, school, kids or life in general would rush in with just seconds to spare.
For people walking their petitions of candidacy into the Secretary of State’s office, where papers for any office that covers more than one county, 5 p.m. is still the drop-dead time
But for county elections offices, where candidates for county, legislative and judicial offices contained within their boundaries must file, the deadline could be different.
Spokane County elections office closes at 4 p.m. as do Ferry, Lincon and Pend Oreille counties.
Stevens County elections closes at 3:30 p.m, Adams County at 4:30 p.m. and Whitman County at 5 p.m.
That’s because many counties are struggling with tight budgets, and operating on shortened hours. Elections offices don’t have to stay open extra to accept candidate petitions.
Candidates can also file by mail, or online. But the deadline for those petitions is 4 p.m., no matter where they are going.

Tuesday filings: Lunchtime update

Today’s candidate filings as of lunchtime:

U.S. Senate: Mike The Mover, Democrat

3rd Leg. District, House Pos. 2: Timm Ormsby, Democrat

4th Leg. District, House Pos. 1: Larry Crouse, Republican

7th Leg. District, House Pos. 2: Joel Kretz, Republican

Spokane County Assessor: Andrew Jackson; Democrat, Vicki Horton, Republican

Spokane County Prosecutor: Dave Stevens, Republican

Spokane County District Judge Pos. 6: Debra Hayes

State Supreme Court: Richard Sanders

Council candidates keep a-coming

Spokane City Council seats continue to attract a large share of the attention among would-be candidates. Southeast Washington’s 9th Legislative District seat is pulling them in, too.

The Thursday afternoon count has 11 council candidates spread among the three districts:

Amber Waldref and Mike Fagan in Northeast Spokane’s District 1

Steve Eugster, Jon Snyder and Mike Allen in South Spokane’s District 2

John Waite, Nancy McLaughlin, Karen Kearney, Barbara Lampert, Victor Noder and Christopher Stevens — that’s right six of ‘em — in Northwest Spokane’s District 3.

Down in Southeast Washington, the Democrats finally got a sacrificial lamb, er candidate, to run for the open seat. Glen Stockwell of Ritville joined the fray with Pat Hailey of Mesa, Darin Watkins of Palouse, Susan Fagan of Pullman and Art Swannack of Lamont.

For the updated Thursday list, go inside the blog.

Last reminder: Filing week about to start

If you’ve been telling everyone you know that your local electeds are A.) clueless; B.) wasting your money; C.) spending their waking hours with the heads in small, lightless places or D.) all of the above, it’s put up or shut up time.

Filing week in Washington state starts tomorrow..

From the time the county Elections Office doors open Monday morning until 5 p.m. next Friday, a would-be city councilperson or school board member can walk in, fill out a form and – if the job pays more than $1,000 a year – plunk down his or her filing fee to get a place on the Aug. 18 primary ballot.

The announced fields in districts around Spokane County are currently pretty small. The Spokane City Council has three seats up for election and none has more than two candidates. Yet.

Most likely to grow significantly is the open council seat in Northeast Spokane’s 1st District. For most elections, an open council seat in Spokane generates enough candidates to fill a minivan.

Mark your calendar: Filing week is coming

Washington residents who are thinking about running for some local office this year had better make up their minds quickly. It’s almost time to spit or get off the spot.

Next week is filing week. From the time the county courthouse doors open Monday morning until 5 p.m. next Friday, a would-be office holder can walk in, fill out a form and, if the job pays more than a grand, plunk down his or her filing fee to get a spot on the Aug. 18 primary ballot.

Those who want to avoid the long lines at county elections offices … and Spin Control is being facetious here, generally speaking … can file online.

Most offices this year are non partisan. But there is a partisan legislative race in Eastern Washington’s 9th District, where Don Cox was appointed to a seat that became open by the death of Steve Hailey but decided not to run. The 9th will have a Top 2 primary, which means the first and second finishers go on to the Nov. 3 general election, regardless of party.

That’s the way it is in nonpartisan races, anyway. No matter how many get into the primary, the two with the most votes move on to the general election.

Who’s got elections this fall in Spokane County? Go inside the blog for the list.