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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

County GOP endorses Christian, Dunham

The Spokane County Republican Party is endorsing Leonard Christian for County Auditor and Harvey Dunham for Appeals Court Judge.

At first glance, it may seem the first is logical, and the second a bit surprising, because the auditor's office is partisan and Christian is the only Republican running, but judicial races are non-partisan.

Technically, that's true about judicial races. But in practice, it's ignored whenever convenient.

Dunham is a longtime Republican who serves as a judge pro tem and has run several times for various judicial positions, although never successfully. He was appointed to the County District Courty in 2005, but his inability to win the election the next year may have been hampered by partisanship. That is, an all-Republican board of county commissioners voted 2-1 to appoint Dunham to an opening, even though he wasn't on the list of recommended appointees from a panel the commissioners set up. When questioned about the appointment, then-commissioner Phil Harris said he had a right to make a political appointment, and was going with Dunham, who was a friend.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.