‘Slow’ turnout marks city elections

Williamson, Rognstad, and Camp elected to Sandpoint council

SANDPOINT — It was slow going for many polling places Tuesday as Bonner County residents trickled in to vote throughout the day.

Turnout was varied across Bonner County’s voting precincts, according to Bonner County Clerk Ann Dutson-Sater. While exact numbers couldn’t be yet determined, activity at the polls ranged from an estimated 30 percent of voter turnout in one precinct and lower in others.

“For some of our precincts, it was pretty slow throughout the day,” she said.

A candidate-packed local election ended Tuesday with Shannon Joy Williamson, Shelby Rognstad and Robert Camp winning three empty Sandpoint City Council seats.

The race proved to be a tight one, with Williamson taking 486 votes, Rognstad taking 459, Camp taking 439, Bill Litsinger taking 343, Bill Aitken taking 311, Mose “Mo” Dunkel taking 266, Mark Remmetter taking 222, Frank “Christian” Schwab taking 85 and Bryan E. Dillon taking 84.

Clark Fork had a similarly busy election, with Chris Riggins taking the mayor’s office with 66 votes and Russell Schenck and Sharon Jeffers winning council seats. Altogether, council candidates Glenn Geignetter took 26 votes, Schenck took 55, Steven Spanski took 25, Lynn Reese took 19 and Jeffers took 57.  

Ponderay challenger Karen Engel will be taking a seat on the council after securing 27 votes. Incumbent John Darling also successfully reclaimed his position with 28 votes. In a narrow race, however, incumbent Steve Geiger lost his seat with 23 votes total.

As for Dover, William C. Strand and Neal Hewitt won the two open seats with 108 votes and 83 votes, while candidate David A. Darling collected 52 votes.  

Vernon Ray Fleisher, an uncontested candidate, took the mayor’s office of East Hope with 67 votes. Meanwhile, Tom Grimm collected 75 votes to win a council seat, as did Eileen Klatt with 64 votes. Candidate Ronald Seay secured 27 votes.

There were no surprises in Kootenai, which saw incumbents David Sundquist and Crystal Closson running unopposed to reclaim council seats one and two. Even so, 18 voters turned out to support Sundquist, while 17 did the same for Closson.

Hope and Oldtown had similarly predictable results with their unopposed elections. Joe Dean won the Hope mayoral election with 26 votes, while Carolyn Guldberg and Robert Lizotte took two open council seats with 24 votes and 26 votes. As for Oldtown, Anna M. Burns won eight votes and Bobby K. Jones won seven for two open council seats.

The trend of unopposed candidates continued in Priest River, with James L. Martin winning the mayoral election with 45 votes. Peggy S. George and Jeff Connolly also secured council seats with 41 votes each.      

As for balloted questions, a recreation district in Bay Drive received enough support to pass with nine in favor and six against. A levy for the Westside Fire District, on the other hand, failed to achieve the required two-thirds majority with 128 in favor and 111 opposed. 

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