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After speaking for more than an hour about the dangers of homegrown extremism Tuesday evening, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich announced he will not seek re-election when his term ends in 2022.
It may have started as a joke, but the controversial photo of state Rep. Matt Shea standing on his Democratic challenger’s property has become a political hot potato for Republicans. The chairman of the Spokane County Republican Party, who was characterized in The Spokesman-Review and other media last week as backing Shea’s decision to post the photo to his Facebook page, now says his position was misunderstood and that he’d actually been trying to persuade Shea to remove the photo.
Spokane GOP leaders are in the midst of a nasty fight that could shape local elections for years to come. The internal battle for control of the Spokane County Republican Party pits “mainstream” GOP members against surging “tea party” activists hoping to maintain and extend their influence in Eastern Washington’s political arena. At stake is the direction of regional Republican politics, everything from priorities to candidate recruiting and support.
The Republicans of Spokane County came to a split decision following an election forum earlier this week: The group endorsed both incumbent Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and challenger Chris Bugbee. That left out Republican challenger Dave Stevens, who earlier earned the endorsement of the Spokane County Republican Party.