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2018 Midterm Election Blog: Voters give thumbs up to schools, thumbs down to downtown stadium

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 7, 2018

Wednesday 1:30 p.m.

Republicans remained firmly in control of all Kootenai County offices in Tuesday’s election, winning all seats in the second, third and fourth legislative districts, as well as all county offices. Democrats did poorly throughout North Idaho, but managed to pickup a few seats in southern Idaho.

Wednesday / 11:50 a.m.

It’s a new day and while Election Day is over, there are a handful of races across the region that were too close to call last night — or came in late Tuesday night — that have now been decided.

Montana Democrat Jon Tester has won a third Senate term, beating Republican Matt Rosendale, the state auditor. President Donald Trump had taken a personal interest in defeating Tester, and had visited the state to campaign against the incumbent, hosting four rallies.

Longtime Republican lawmaker Brad Little defeated Democratic challenger Paulette Jordan on Tuesday to become Idaho’s next governor, immediately saying he’d assert Idaho’s independence from federal authority.

Idaho voters have approved the expansion of Medicaid coverage to potentially more than 60,000 low-income adults across the state.

Republican Congressman Mike Simpson has won an 11th term representing Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District. And the GOP’s Russ Fulcher has won Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, defeating Democrat Cristina McNeil and six other candidates.


In non-election news, and look for a separate story soon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions just submitted his letter of resignation to President Donald Trump. Trump, who requested his resignation, says Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will become acting attorney general.

9:45 p.m.

Shawn Vestal: It was the campaign the 5th District voters deserved – the first great House race here in decades. In almost every way, the contest between Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and challenger Lisa Brown has been a more positive, more passionate and less cynical electoral exercise than our current moment would give us the right to expect.


Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers thanks her supporters moments after challenger Lisa Brown conceded the race for the 5th District.

9:15 p.m.

Scene setter: Over at the Republican watch party the crowd erupted as soon as word filtered in that Lisa Brown was conceding her challenge for the 5th District seat.

9 p.m.

Shelley Szambelan will remain a judge on the Spokane County Superior Court, having won nearly 60 percent of votes in her race against attorney Dennis Cronin, early ballot returns show. Patrick Johnson has beat Randy Brandt by a similar margin in a race to become a Spokane County District Court judge.

Incumbent Republican Tim Fitzgerald is likely to retain his seat as Spokane County Clerk against Democratic challenger Michael Kirk.

Former state Rep. Leonard Christian maintains a slight lead over opponent and political newcomer Tom Konis in the race for Spokane County Assessor.

Ozzie Knezovich will retain his position as Spokane County Sheriff. Knezovich was challenged by Scott Maclay, who legally changed his name to Dumpozzie Dom Com, before dying in a motorcycle crash on Sept. 3.

8:50 p.m.

Workers down at the Spokane Election Office are dealing with a huge amount of ballots nearly an hour after the polls closed.

The vision for new downtown stadium did not win over Spokane voters.

In an advisory vote Tuesday night, voters said by a 2-to-1 margin to build a new stadium on the existing site of Joe Albi Stadium – not on the north bank of the Spokane River.

Republican Mike Volz is holding a solid 6.5 percentage point lead in the race for a Spokane legislative seat against Democrat Kay Murano.

Republican Jeff Holy will move on to the state Senate. The state representative is beating Democrat Jessa Lewis by 9.5 percentage points for a seat in the state Senate early in the race.

8:30 p.m.

Local races started to get called soon after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Right out of the gate, Spokane-area voters appear to be supporting a landmark $495 million construction bond for Spokane Public Schools appeared to be on its way to passage Tuesday night.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is returning to Washington, D.C.

Democratic state Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli have won new terms representing Washington’s 3rd Legislative District, which covers the city of Spokane.

Republican state Reps. Matt Shea and Bob McCaslin have fended off Democratic challengers in Eastern Washington’s 4th Legislative District.

A footnote in the Spokane County Sheriff’s race:

8:05 p.m.

The Spokesman-Review Sports Department is ready to declare a winner in a Spokane-area contest …


Spokane School officials have also gathered to watch election returns this evening.

7:45 p.m.

Another roundup of race headlines from across the country …

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats have won half of the seats they need to claim House majority; GOP picking up key Senate contests.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House is getting its first two Muslim women and Massachusetts is getting its first black congresswoman while Arizona and Tennessee stand to elect their first woman senators in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

CHICAGO (AP) – Democrat Sean Casten defeats Rep. Peter Roskam to flip suburban Chicago district GOP has held for decades.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) – Sen. Ted Cruz fended off a spirited underdog challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke to win re-election on Tuesday in a Texas race that once seemed like a cakewalk but needed a late boost from President Donald Trump to help push the incumbent over the top.

7:20 p.m.

Here’s a handful of race results from across the country as polls are closing …

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats reclaim governor’s seats in Illinois and Michigan, while heated races in Georgia and Florida remain close.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats gaining ground in fight for control of House, picking up key seats in Pennsylvania, Florida and Minnesota.

DENVER (AP) – First-time Democratic candidate Jason Crow defeats 5-term Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in suburban Denver district.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrat Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado elected governor, defeating Republican Walker Stapleton.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder loses to LGBT Native American Democrat Sharice Davids.


A tale of two watch parties. First in Spokane …

And down in Boise …


People are beginning to gather for Republican and Democrat Election night parties here in Spokane


7:05 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney elected to Senate in Utah, defeating Democrat Jenny Wilson.


Democrat Jennifer Wexton defeated Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., ending nearly four decades of Republican control of a key northern Virginia seat.

By capitalizing on President Donald Trump’s unpopularity, Wexton, a state senator and former prosecutor, won 58 percent of the vote compared to Comstock who won 42 percent, with about two-thirds of precincts reporting.


6:45 p.m.

MOREHEAD, Ky. – Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, lost Tuesday in her re-election bid for the Rowan County clerkship.

Davis, a Republican, lost to Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. by about 700 votes.


While most newsrooms across the nation are having Election Night Pizza, here at The Spokesman-Review we opted instead for the Election Night Taco Bar.


And speaking of pizza …

PHOENIX (AP) – A group sent 8,000 pizzas to hungry voters as they waited in long lines that plagued polling places across the country Tuesday.

The group Pizza to the Polls collects social media reports of long lines and doles out pizzas accordingly. The group enjoyed a boost in recent days because of tweets and donations from celebrities like Debra Messing, Alyssa Milano, Mandy Moore and Patton Oswalt, raising more than $300,000 over a 24-hour period.


Reminder: You have about an hour left to get your ballot in before polls close.

6 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on elections to the U.S. House of Representatives:

In Indiana, Greg Pence, an older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, has won a heavily Republican House seat that his famous sibling once held.

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia was the first congressional incumbent to lose as voters in her Northern Virginia district expressed their continued dislike of President Donald Trump.

Donna Shalala has won a U.S. House seat in Florida, making her the first Democrat to flip a GOP seat on Tuesday night.

NBC News has live coverage of the 2018 Midterm Election streaming over on their YouTube channel

5:40 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democrats flipped their first two Republican-held House seats Tuesday as polls closed in the East, winning an open Florida district and another in the suburbs of the nation’s capital as they worked to wrest control of the chamber from the GOP and confront President Donald Trump.

In the Miami area, former Clinton administration Cabinet member Donna Shalala defeated television journalist Maria Elvira Salazar in a costly, roller-coaster contest. Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock – among the most endangered GOP incumbents, branded Barbara “Trumpstock” by Democrats – lost to Jennifer Wexton, a prosecutor and state legislator, who was among the record number of women running this election.

KHQ’s Adam Mayer is getting ready for a busy night in Boise …

Meanwhile down at the Elections Office in Spokane, they’ve been busy all day, and will be long after the polls close …



5:20 p.m.

WASHINGTON – The energy and outrage of the Democratic resistance faced off against the brute strength of President Donald Trump’s GOP on Tuesday as voters across America decided whether Democrats should control at least one chamber of Congress for the first time in the Trump era.

4:20 p.m.

ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp – who is also in charge of the state’s election – had problems voting.

The Georgia governor’s race is one of the most closely-watched in the country, due in part to an ongoing dispute over Kemp’s management of the election system.

Kemp had an issue with his voter card when he went to cast his ballot, but it was fixed quickly. He walked by reporters and said: “Take Two.”


KHQ 4 p.m. Live Video Update

Meanwhile here in Spokane County …

3:20 p.m.

Idaho election officials say high volumes of voters are turning out across the state, but voting is going smoothly.

3 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Polls close in eastern Kentucky and parts of Indiana, as nation votes in first midterm elections of Trump’s presidency.


Meanwhile in Olympia …


Together Everyone Achieves More

2:30 p.m.

Keeley Smith, a spokeswoman for the Brown campaign, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the campaign’s offices at 1507 E. Sprague Ave. had been vandalized sometime overnight and that a Crime Check report had been made regarding superglue on the locks.

“No one broke in, or anything,” Smith said, adding that it just showed it was important voters got their ballots in on time this evening.

Brown’s campaign offices aren’t alone in being targeted by vandals. Last year, the words “Nazi scum” were scrawled on the street-facing windows of the McMorris Rodgers field office on Second Avenue following an action on immigration by President Donald Trump. The case was investigated as a hate crime.

And last week, there were reports of swastikas being spray-painted on yard signs, as well as theft.

“It’s very disappointing to see the level of vandalism and divisiveness this campaign year—which our campaign has also weathered. Cathy and our team continue to work to bridge divides and bring people in our community together, and condemn these acts which have no place in Eastern Washington politics.” -- Jared Powell, Spokesman for Cathy McMorris Rodgers

~Kip Hill

2 p.m.

Clarence Cleveland (C.C.) Dill was elected to the House of Representatives in 1915. In April of 1917 he was one of a group of representatives who voted against war with Germany.

The following year — 100 years ago to be exact — he lost re-election for a third term in office.

Dill rebounded and in 1922 was elected to the United States Senate. He was re-elected in 1928. Dill, a Democrat who had also served when he was younger as a reporter for The Spokesman-Review, was the last person from eastern Washington to serve as a U.S. Senator.


KHQ Reporter Joe McHale is reporting that staff for 5th District candidate Lisa Brown couldn’t get into their campaign office this morning; someone super glued their door locks. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ spokesman said it was “very disappointing” to see the vandalism and divisiveness this election season, which he said their campaign “has also weathered.”

1 p.m.

The body of a Utah mayor and Army National Guard member who urged Americans to vote before he was killed in Afghanistan has been returned to U.S. soil.

Military officials said 39-year-old North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor was shot to death Saturday by an Afghan commando he was training, who was then killed by Afghan forces.


KHQ will be live streaming updates on-air, on Facebook and on throughout the day. Here’s a rundown of times they will be going live with Election Day updates:

4 p.m. — Live Update

5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. — KHQ Local News

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. — KHQ Local News

6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Live Updates on local races every half hour

9 p.m. to 11 p.m. — 2018 Mid-Term Election live coverage from NBC News

11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. — KHQ Local News

You can watch their coverage live online here.

12 p.m.

Early voting leading up to Tuesday’s midterm election revealed a wide variety of concerns with voting and registration systems around the country – from machines that changed voter selections to registration forms tossed out because of clerical errors.

11 a.m.

Tweetstorms and a trade war. Kanye in the Oval Office. Kavanaugh in the hearing room. President Donald Trump’s presidency has been a wild, turbulent, two-year ride. Now it’s time for voters to weigh in how much they’re enjoying it.

Kip Hill was up early on Twitter this morning re-capping the last year he’s spent on the campaign trail covering the 5th District. He’ll be at it through this evening so give him a follow for all the highlights this Election Day.

Election Day / 8 a.m.

Election Day in America. From our nation’s capitol in Washington to the state capitols in Boise and Olympia to local offices and initiatives across the Inland Northwest, The Spokesman-Review is tracking the latest headlines and election returns.

Throughout the day we will be posting the latest information from our reporters covering the races and initiatives, as well as sharing the latest video from our broadcast partners over at KHQ.

Monday / 7 p.m.

Helped by a hotly contested congressional race in Eastern Washington, Spokane turnout is running about 10 percentage points ahead of the state average 24 hours before the deadline to turn ballots in Tuesday evening.

Government Editor Jonathan Brunt sits down with reporters Jim Camden, Kip Hill and Amy Edelen to preview Tuesday’s mid-term election in the latest edition of the Spokesman-Review Newsmakers podcast.

Monday / 5 p.m.

We’ve asked them about guns, immigration, health care and the national debt. Now Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown tell us how they feel about the best sauce to dunk your french fries, favorite president and what their favorite films are.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is aiming for her eighth stint in the nation’s capitol, but to do so she’ll have to defeat Brown, her most formidable Democratic opponent to date.

Monday / 8 a.m.

It’s down to the wire with less than 24 hours before Election Day and while Spokesman-Review reporter Kip Hill is filing one more story from the 5th District campaign trail, Government Editor Jonathan Brunt takes a look at what it will take for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to keep her seat and what challenger Lisa Brown needs to do to unseat her.

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