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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Brannon hires Locke as chief deputy

Huckleberries has learned that Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon has hired by favorite local conservative as his chief deputy: Jennifer Locke. Locke, he received news coverage for her role as one of four Idaho electors to cast Electoral College votes to President-elect Donald Trump, officially began work Tuesday.

Voting deadlines approaching

Two voting deadlines are coming up, according to Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon. Voters who want an absentee ballot mailed to them need to submit their request by 5 p.m. Friday, and voters who want to cast their ballots early in person have until Friday, Nov. 4 to do that.

Huckleberries: Huckleberries: When in doubt, vote for Pedro

If you don’t like the two main candidates for the U.S. presidency in Idaho, you can select one of six other choices on the ballot including Libertarian Gary Johnson and Independent Jill Stein. Or you can write in one of 37 other names that have been certified by the Idaho Secretary of State as write-in candidates, including six from Idaho. Or you can vote for Pedro.

Huckleberries: Reader questions CdA’s Sherman namesakes

Dave Chamberlain of Coeur d’Alene wonders why Lake City names things after General William Tecumseh Sherman, the brutal Civil War general who conducted Sherman’s “march to the sea” and herded American Indian tribes onto reservations.

Huckleberries: CdA council race eerily familiar for English

Dan English is experiencing the ultimate “what goes around comes around” moment. Six years ago at this time, as Kootenai County clerk, Dan was about to circulate instructions to local towns about the approaching city elections. Among the races that fall was the one between Coeur d’Alene incumbent Mike Kennedy and challenger Jim Brannon, then the executive director of Habitat for Humanity. The Kennedy-Brannon race was going to be contested for months after the vote count, as a result of a legal action filed by Brannon and settled by the Idaho Supreme Court. On election night, Kennedy won by five votes. When the dust settled many months later, Kennedy was still declared the winner – by three votes. Now, fast forward to today. English is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity and seeking a Coeur d’Alene council seat held by an incumbent. And Brannon? He’s now the county clerk whose office will count votes in the Coeur d’Alene election in November. English has two wishes at this point: to win the three-way election for Councilman Steve Adams’ seat. And to win by way more than five votes. Sweet deal

Belmont, Brannon square off in Kootenai clerk’s race

Not long ago Jim Brannon was alleging Kootenai County voting irregularities in a lawsuit contesting an election loss. Now he oversees the elections division and is running to keep his seat as county clerk. His opponent, Larry Belmont, is a former longtime director of the Panhandle Health District who says he wants to give Democrats a reason to vote in a state dominated by the GOP.

Huckleberries: After 58 years, Larsen’s perfect game still a wonder

You may have forgotten, but last Wednesday was the 58th anniversary of the only perfect-game, no-hitter thrown in the World Series – by Don Larsen of the New York Yankees. Larsen, who now lives in Hayden, blanked the powerful Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0. Everyone was dumbfounded by the feat, including Larsen and famous, longtime Yankees PA announcer Bob Sheppard, who said: “If Nolan Ryan had done it, if Sandy Koufax had done it, if Don Drysdale had done it, I would have nodded and said, ‘Well, it could happen.’ But Don Larsen?” Larsen’s career was otherwise unspectacular. In 14 Major League Baseball seasons, Don posted a record of 81 wins and 91 losses – and a 3.78 earned run average. He may still commemorate his extraordinary feat with a vanity license plate that reads: “DLooo” – for Don Larsen (no runs, no hits, no errors). It doesn’t add up

Huckleberries: Idaho’s nerd ratio noteworthy

Idaho is doing well in another Estately Blog poll. Remember? Estately named Idaho as one of the states that would survive a zombie apocalypse. After all, most Spud Staters are armed to the teeth and know survivability skills. Now, Estately ranks Idaho No. 4 – behind No. 1 Utah, Alaska and Wyoming and two spots ahead of No. 6 Washington in – (drum roll, puh-leez) nerdiness. Seems Idahoans are fanatics of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Harry Potter,” “Dungeons & Dragons” and other nerd indicators. Says Estately: “Idaho is home to large numbers of live action role-players and Harry Potter enthusiasts, but it’s also one of the premier states for those into fantasy literature. The state is home to its own chapter of the Tolkien Society, and local universities actually hold classes focusing on fantasy and science fiction.” And you wonder why we Spud Staters seem somewhat “out there” at times? Rising stars

Huckleberries: Tom Malzahn helping to let voters pick next treasurer

Again, Kootenai County owes a debt of gratitude to Treasurer Tom Malzahn for postponing his retirement 21 months to protect his office from right-wing ideologues who control the local GOP. In Idaho, the respective parties provide up to three names for appointment by commissioners when a vacancy occurs among the courthouse elected officials. Malzahn feared that the tea party/Ron Paul wing that dominates the GOP Central Committee would bypass his competent deputy, Laurie Thomas, in favor of conservative ideologues.

Council election fight ends

A Coeur d’Alene man who contested his defeat in a 2009 City Council election, alleging numerous irregularities, has lost on appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision Friday, the justices rejected most arguments Jim Brannon made in his legal fight over a narrow election loss to Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy.

Huckleberries: Kennedy slims down by ‘Running from Recall’

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy didn’t shrink from appearing at the Idaho Supreme Court hearing for Jim Brannon’s challenge of his three-vote 2009 loss to Kennedy last week. But Kennedy is shrinking. Sixty-four pounds and counting since this time last year – from 245 pounds to 181 pounds.

Candidate who lost council race appeals to Idaho high court

The Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to the outcome of a 2009 Coeur d’Alene City Council election. Jim Brannon, who narrowly lost a council race to Mike Kennedy, pressed his lawsuit against the city to the state’s high court after losing in district court nearly two years ago.