The Founding Fathers may have imagined Bonner County when they proposed a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Because in this place where the children of loggers and children of the counterculture can hit the drive-through espresso stand on their way to a chain-saw carving contest, people by the score are running for office.
A state high of 22 hopefuls have filed to run for office this year, including 14 for the County Commission and seven for sheriff. Tuesday’s primary offers a number of contested races in North Idaho’s rural counties.
County Commission: The race is crowded, candidates say, because so much is at stake. The county has been growing for the past several years, but a bright national media spotlight recently has sped up the real estate rush, adding new pressure to roads, law enforcement services and sewer and water systems.
In eastern Bonner County’s District 3, Commissioner Jerry Clemons is stepping down. The following candidates are campaigning for the seat’s two-year term: Democrats Larry Keith and Dale Van Stone, and Republicans Karl Dye, Jim Quinn, Lewis Rich, and Anker Rasmussen. Two independents will not be listed on the primary ballot.
In Bonner County District 2, the Democrat candidates are Brian Orr (incumbent) and Don Carr. Republican candidates for the seat are Tom Hartliep, Neal Hewitt and Joe Young. A Constitution Party candidate will not be listed on the primary ballot
Sheriff: Incumbent Phil Jarvis decided not to seek a second term and, as in the commissioner races, county growth is driving the department to a clear decision point, primary candidates say, offering a choice between old and new ways of doing things.
The Republican candidates on Tuesday’s ballot include Undersheriff Elaine Savage, sheriff’s Lt. Harvey Thompson, former sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Schulze, and Cal Wylie. Democrat candidates for sheriff are Tony Lamanna and J.R. Banks. An independent candidate will not be listed on the primary ballot.
County Commission: A pair of Republicans are challenging incumbent Commissioner Walt Kirby for the District 2 seat in Idaho’s northernmost county. No Democrats are running in the commission race, meaning the election will be decided in the primary. In District 3, Republican Dan Dinning is running unopposed for another term.
District 2 candidates are incumbent Walt Kirby, former Commissioner Kevin Lederhos and Tom Vinion.
Sheriff: Incumbent George Voyles, a Republican, is seeking a second term and is in the primary with former Sheriff Greg Sprungl, a Republican, and jail deputy Jeff Ennis, a Republican.
A Democrat and an independent candidate advance to the general election.
County Commission: Phil Sergent, a Republican, and J. Russell Lowry, a Republican, are among three who have filed to represent the western side of the county, replacing Dave Johnson, who did not seek a second term. A Democrat candidate will advance to the general election.
Sheriff: Four are running to replace Bill Tharp, including Undersheriff Dave Resser, and sheriff’s Detective Robert Loe, both Republicans. Democrat candidates are former sheriff Robert Kirts and St. Maries police Lt. Larry Sotin.
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