County voters oust Rich, Rasor - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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County voters oust Rich, Rasor

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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — Republican voters displayed strong support for Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, but showed two county commissioners the door on Tuesday.

Wheeler, the only county incumbent to successfully emerge from the primary, fended off Ponderay Police officer Tim Fry’s bid for the GOP nomination. Wheeler finished the primary with 3,934 votes compared to Fry’s 1,427 votes.

The third candidate in the primary race for sheriff, white supremacist Shaun Winkler, managed to amass a frightening 182 votes.

Wheeler advances to the Nov. 6 general election, where he is being challenged by former Deputy Rocky Jordan, who’s running as a Constitutionalist.

“I’m feeling pretty darn good today,” Wheeler said on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

Wheeler said he wants to continue making improvements to the department.

“We’re going to continue to make adjustments and try to be more efficient and provide a better service to our constituents,” he said.

Republican voters turned incumbent commissioners Lewie Rich and Cornel Rasor out of office in a pair of neck-and-neck races that went down to the wire.

Former Senator Joyce Broadsword narrowly edged Rasor by a 113-vote margin to clinch the GOP nod for the District 1 seat on the county commission. She faces independent Steve Johnson in the general election.

“I’m hopeful that I can make a difference and I’m very pleased that the voters have enough confidence to give me a chance,” said Broadsword, who could be the first born-and-raised Bonner County resident to hold a seat on the commission in more than a decade.

Broadsword said she’s already been approached by a number of county employees who are weary of “walking on eggshells” at the Bonner County Administration Building.

“They felt I brought a different perspective,” she said.

Rasor was gracious despite the defeat. He called to congratulate Broadsword after her win and offered to help her transition onto the board if she prevails in the general election.

Rasor is not ruling out continuing his political career.

“I’ll worry about that in January, but right now I’m still owned by the county 24/7,” said Rasor, adding that there’s plenty to be done in the next seven months.

Rich lost his re-election bid to former sheriff’s marine patrol supervisor Cary Kelly, who won the contest by 359 votes. Tea party-backed candidate Sage Dixon collected 938 votes.

Kelly is ultimately the presumptive winner of the District 3 race because he has no challenger in the general election.

“I feel confident about the November election,” said Kelly, cracking wise.

Kelly hopes to curb some of the internal strife on the commission, which he views as poor use of energy and resources.

“Initially, what I’m really going to do is set a different tone as far as cooperation, coordination and communication goes,” he said.

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  • patriot posted at 1:07 am on Wed, May 23, 2012.

    patriot Posts: 27

    This is a deceptive victory for the Democratic candidates who were elected by a majority of Democrats in a Republican Primary. Unfortunately, most people were too busy with caring for their families to concern themselves with primary elections, which gave the anti-constitutional fanatics on the left and the fraudulent right this momentary victory.

    Ignore the Haight-Ashbury, collectivist Democrats of “provocative” talk radio.

  • cclark posted at 11:36 am on Tue, May 22, 2012.

    cclark Posts: 78

    Sandpoint MOM….obviously you don't believe in "property rights". nor have you ever attended a "property rights meeting. Get educated on statements you make before you bash a volunteer citizens group that has everything to do with protecting "property rights"…you show how stupid you are...

  • cclark posted at 11:29 am on Tue, May 22, 2012.

    cclark Posts: 78

    6800 voters out of 22,000 is an embarrassing turn out for our county…One has to ask why they don't love our community enough to do their duty and vote. This was no big win or loss with these few voters…P.U.

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 8:39 am on Sat, May 19, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @triggercrank - post of 6:07 a.m. - Actually triggercrank, the the "true voice" is the majority. I think the majority muted the minority.

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 1:59 pm on Fri, May 18, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @LakeViewer - post of 9:16 a.m. It has been that way since at least 1994.

  • LakeViewer posted at 12:15 pm on Fri, May 18, 2012.

    LakeViewer Posts: 940

    I might be wrong, but I believe state law is clear that commissioners must be elected by district, except in 5 commissioner counties one is elected "at large". Bonner county has three districts which only apply to the commissioner elections. Why would the primary for those districts be held on a different basis? Something fishy here I think.

  • Helen Newton posted at 10:37 am on Fri, May 18, 2012.

    Helen Newton Posts: 537

    Should be..... could be..... it's a legislative decison so contact Eskridge, Keough and Anderson!

    BC resident for 65 years.....

  • Perki posted at 10:19 am on Fri, May 18, 2012.

    Perki Posts: 661

    LakeViewer, I have often questioned the wisdom of this system. It seems to me that by allowing everyone to vote for all 3 district commisioners you are just allowing the population center of Sandpoint to elect all 3 commissioners. I believe that you should only be allowed to vote for the commisioner that represents the District you reside in.

  • LakeViewer posted at 9:16 am on Fri, May 18, 2012.

    LakeViewer Posts: 940

    I don't want to upset the apple cart, but there was something strange about this election. I was expecting a ballot with either Rasor or Rich and their opponents (a district based election} listed. However, I was provided a ballot with both contests on the same ballot, therefore I was able to vote my preference for both.

    Was this the same throughout Bonner county? If so, why are the commission seats attached to one of three districts in the county? Were voters resident in District 2 allowed to vote for the District 1 & 3 commissioner candidates?

  • flytime posted at 3:39 am on Fri, May 18, 2012.

    flytime Posts: 44

    When I was a kid there was a group of like minded people who believed that the people should be governed by the strict interpritation of the constitution. They belonged to the John birch society. Can someone tell me when the republican party morfed into what it is today?

  • bonnerben posted at 9:23 pm on Thu, May 17, 2012.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    Relativism, I couldn't agree more. It's not about which party people belong to, it's how they represent the community while in office. I would rather see non partisian elections for the offices of sheriff and commissioner.

  • SdptMom posted at 9:21 pm on Thu, May 17, 2012.

    SdptMom Posts: 176

    Congrats to Joyce Broadsword + Cary Kelly!! I'm very encouraged our citizens turned to level-headed candidates. But I'm still unsettled about how much more damage Cornell + Rich can do before they leave office. I'd like to believe this election signals an END to their costly, self-serving board for so-called "Property Rights" [sneaky]

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 6:23 pm on Thu, May 17, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @Ruby Ridge - post of 11:44 a.m. - Sounds like you are unhappy with the election results.

  • Relativism posted at 5:54 pm on Thu, May 17, 2012.

    Relativism Posts: 19

    I think it's fair to say the core values and policies of the republican party have been greatly changed in the last 30 years... So if by republican you mean conservative extremist, your definition might be right Ruby.

    I'm a lot more interested in what people do with their term, rather than which side of the fence they are kowtowing to.

  • CompromisingConservative posted at 12:48 pm on Thu, May 17, 2012.

    CompromisingConservative Posts: 1

    I love Ron Paul when he is in town but when he is gone I am just collecting a check....

  • Ruby Ridge posted at 11:44 am on Thu, May 17, 2012.

    Ruby Ridge Posts: 72

    Too many liberals pretending to be Republicans.