Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 51° Partly Cloudy

Kootenai County Sheriff, Republican Primary

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Benton E. “Ben” Wolfinger (R) 7,778 60.89%
John Green (R) 4,996 39.11%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

The Candidates

Benton E. "Ben" Wolfinger

Party:
Republican
Age:
60
City:
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Occupation:
Sheriff, Kootenai County

Education background: Earned associate of science degree in law enforcement from North Idaho College, and advanced and management certificates from the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy.

Political background: Elected sheriff in 2012. Served as Coeur d’Alene City Councilman from December 2000 to January 2006. Served on the Governor’s Traffic Safety Commission for about 15 years.

Work experience: Wolfinger was hired as a deputy in 1983, at age 21, and has worked in or managed all aspects of the sheriff’s department since then. He has worked as a North Idaho College Law Enforcement Program Instructor and is past chairman of the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee.

Family: Married. Has two sons.

John Green

Party:
Republican
Age:
62
City:
Rathdrum area, Idaho
Occupation:
Attorney

John Green and his wife Elizabeth live near Rathdrum, where they built their house in the mid-2000s. They have four children and six grandchildren.

John has been in private law practice since 1993, working primarily in constitutional law, taxation and monetary issues, business law, and small company start-up and operation. He currently concentrates on constitutional issues and serves as general counsel and chief law enforcement advisor to the United States Bill of Rights Foundation.

John began his career as a Texas peace officer, including as a deputy sheriff in Harris County. He claims he wrestled both an alligator and a boa constrictor during his time wearing a badge.

John is licensed to practice law in Washington and Texas. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law in 1986. He earned a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Houston in 1982, and a basic police certification in 1977 from Texas A&M University. John also was certified as a law enforcement instructor and a jailer in Texas.

He touts 39 years of professional criminal justice experience, from patrol, investigation, supervision, jail and jail supervision, as well as criminal and civil law. He has worked as a trainer of and advisor to law enforcement officers and agencies.

“No one is above the law and I will honor my oath of office by protecting life, liberty, and property of all citizens,” he said. “I am seeking the office of Kootenai County Sheriff in order to put my education and experience to work to help make Kootenai County a safer place to live.”

Complete Coverage

Kootenai County sheriff’s candidates debate need for larger jail

For over a decade Kootenai County officials have wrestled with how to tackle jail crowding knowing that voters don’t want to raise property taxes to pay for a construction project.

Kootenai County candidates differ on proper role of sheriff

The race for sheriff of Kootenai County has gone well beyond a debate over patrol staffing, deputy pay and jail crowding. Rathdrum attorney John Green is challenging Sheriff Ben Wolfinger’s ideological view on the role of sheriff.

Huckleberries: Bachelor party results put Aunt Patty in a tizzy

One of the fond remembrances at the memorial service in Coeur d’Alene for the late Patty Duke (Anna Pearce) was told by nephew Mike Kennedy.

Editorial: Courts interpret, sheriffs enforce

When was the last time you voted for a sheriff based on his or her standing as a scholar? Like most people, you probably wanted the best person to enforce the laws, not interpret them.

Huckleberries: Candidate happy with endorsement from ‘Sheriff Mack’

John Green, a “constitutional sheriff” candidate running in the Kootenai County GOP primary, is delighted to have the endorsement of erstwhile Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Police Officers Association.

Huckleberries: Quest for pop ended in Bonners Ferry showdown

Today, Dave Keyes, of Sandpoint, manages a string of newspapers for a Billings, Mont., newspaper group. But 30 years ago, he was a rookie reporter for the Bonners Ferry Herald in need of a Diet Pepsi. His quest for the pop placed him at the wrong place at the wrong time, as he ended up looking down the barrel of a rifle.