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Huckleberries Online

Duane vs Fred vs 2 others again

That four-way race for the Kootenai County commissioner seat being vacated by Commissioner Dan Green features the renewal of a mainstream Republican rivalry. Six years ago, Duane Rasmussen and Fred Meckel were contestants in a four-way race for a House District 2 seat won by Vito Barbieri. Three of the four candidates were from the mainstream faction, including Hayden Councilwoman Jeri DeLange, who would have been light years better as a representative than Barbieri.

Now, fast-forward to today. Rasmussen and Meckel are sure to split the mainstream Republican vote again, likely paving the way for Bob Bingham, founder of the North West Property Owners Alliance (which supports almost all the same people as the Kootenai County Republican Concerned Citizens). Jennifer Locke, who was identified as one of the individuals involved in the 2014 KCRCC PAC, is Bingham's treasurer. Leslie Duncan is the fourth person involved in the race. She's backed by the Rally Right faction of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.

It's hard to say whether Meckel or Rasmussen, running without the other, could overtake Bingham. Bingham has the unabashed support of the Tea Party crowd in a closed Republican primary. It would still be a three-way race. However, with Meckel and Rasmussen dividing the mainstream vote, the seat now held by Dan Green is likely to fall into the hands of a conservative hardliner.

Here's how the votes were split in the 2010 House District 2 race won by Barbieri:

Vito Barbieri .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,047   39.40
Duane Rasmussen  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,298   24.98
Jeri J. DeLange  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,057   20.34
Fred Meckel.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       794   15.28
        Total .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     5,196


D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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