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Ramona Colvin appears likely to replace her former boss as Stevens County coroner; Erika George likely the next prosecutor

Nov. 9, 2022 Updated Wed., Nov. 9, 2022 at 8:22 p.m.

Sampson and Colvin
Sampson and Colvin

Election night results show big gaps between candidates in closely contested prosecutor and coroner races in Stevens County, but many ballots are left to be counted.

In the prosecutor race, Erika George is ahead of her opponent, Geoff Kristianson, by 18 percentage points.

Former deputy coroner Ramona Colvin holds an even larger lead over her former boss, incumbent coroner Lorrie Sampson, by 37 percentage points.

About half of the vote has been counted. According to the auditor’s office, 8,536 ballots were counted Tuesday night while an estimated 9,000 remain. The next scheduled reporting is Nov. 14.

After a crowded primary race of four prosecutor candidates, George maintained her lead over Kristianson. George, a deputy prosecutor for Stevens County, has 58.8% of the votes while Kristianson, a deputy prosecutor for Spokane County has 40.4%.

“There are a lot of votes left to count, but the support has been overwhelming,” George said. “Thank you for everyone who has believed in me.”

Both are Republicans, but the Stevens County Republican Central Committee endorsed George for the office.

George is on track to take over for her boss, longtime prosecutor Tim Rasmussen, who is retiring after four terms and endorsed George for the position. George has worked in the office since 2017.

The coroner’s race, meanwhile, shifted since the primary election, which came down to a two-vote difference.

Colvin has 67.9% of the vote while Sampson trails with 31.36%.

Sampson has held the office since 2015. Colvin was a deputy coroner from 2017 until February when Sampson fired her, less than three weeks after Colvin announced her candidacy.

Sampson said she fired Colvin for using the transportation services of a local funeral home that Sampson instructed her not to use, accessing sensitive records she was not supposed to and refusing to come to the office or respond to her phone calls for 17 days.

Colvin said she was fired in retaliation for running against Sampson.

Colvin had the backing of the county GOP and local funeral homes.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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