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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Even primary election serves up political hash

I’m always relieved to get past a primary.

The only point of a primary election is to weed out those less-popular candidates who, if elected, might actually do the public some good.

Now the real fun begins. The winning combatants will exchange insults until November, when voters will select their favorite liars in the general election.

This is what I call a “No Fun” election year in Spokane. Voters won’t have the fun of heaving the incumbent mayor out of office like a dirty diaper.

Even so, a guy like me can’t be choosy.

So on Tuesday, I drove to a North Side pizza joint where supporters of Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin gathered to carbo-load and enjoy the primary returns.

Nothing but mirth and mozzarella at this location.

McLaughlin won the night by a landslide, besting her nearest District 3 opponent by more than 3,000 votes.

Among the District 3 vanquished was Barbara Lampert. Yep. Poor Lampert has lost yet another bid to win, well, something.

Once again I must shelve my morbid columnist curiosity regarding what this perennial candidate might do should voters actually put her into an office.

Maybe next time, Barbara – maybe next time.

My stay at McLaughlin Central was quite entertaining. Former Spokane Councilman Brad Stark gave me a withering look and a handshake that I can only describe as contemptuous.

Good to see you, too, Brad.

On the flip side, Duane Sommers seemed genuinely pleased to see me.

There’s only one thing to deduce from such disparate reactions. I must not have been doing my job while Sommers was Spokane County assessor or in the state Legislature.

A woman who cornered me in the pizza restaurant told me that she was related to Abraham Lincoln. I’m not sure why she wanted me to know this, but I’m always up for a challenge.

So I told her about one of my ancient relatives serving two years in prison for polygamy.

I’d say I won that genealogical face-off.

Speaking of face-offs, there will be no Steve Eugster Spokane City Council reprise in the near future.

Candidates needed to finish first or second to go on to the general election. Eugster finished fourth in his District 2 race.

Bummer. I would have paid to watch the inevitable cage-match exchanges between the always-bombastic Eugster and Council President Joe Shogan, who is no slouch in the ol’ temper-tantrum department.

My take on Eugster was apparently dead wrong. Silly me, I figured being suspended could only enhance a lawyer’s political appeal.

I also found it mildly surprising to see that District 3 candidate David Elton received 194 votes. You know what that tells me?

That tells me there are a couple hundred people in this community who we probably should keep an eye on.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at
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