Bonner GOP nominees prevail in general election

Wheeler, Broadsword and Kelly win handily

SANDPOINT — Bonner County Commission GOP nominee Joyce Broadsword and incumbent Sheriff Daryl Wheeler notched decisive victories on Wednesday.

Broadsword, who won the Republican nomination for the District 1 spot in the primary, amassed 11,110 votes to defeat independent Steve Johnson, who collected 5,932, according to unofficial final general election results.

“I just appreciate the support of the community and look forward to serving them in this new capacity,” said Broadsword, a former state senator.

Aside from learning the ropes of the job, Broadsword said she has no pre-planned agenda for when she takes office.

However, she wants to try and bring about greater cooperation among county officials.

“We need to be having some good dialogue among all elected officials,” said Broadsword.

Wheeler earned 73 percent of the vote and finished the contest with 12,687 votes. Constitution candidate Rocky Jordan finished with 4,470 votes.

“I am grateful to the voters of Bonner County and I’m honored to serve a second term as sheriff,” Wheeler said during a break from picking up his campaign signs.

Wheeler said he and his command staff are refocusing their goals and priorities  to improve accountability and level of service to the community.

“I’m hoping to build stronger bonds with the community,” he said. “I want our community to feel that this is their sheriff’s office.”

Cary Kelly picked up more votes — 13,940 — than any other candidate in a contested county race to win the District 3 seat on the county commission.

Kelly beat incumbent Lewie Rich for the Republican nomination in the primary, prompting Rich to mount an active write-in campaign in an effort to retain his seat on the board.

Rich conceded the race to Kelly at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to county Clerk Marie Scott.

At the time of his concession, Rich had 299 votes to Kelly’s 2,826 votes.

Scott, with the support of Democratic and Republican party officials who served on the write-in board, asked Rich to concede after it became apparent that Kelly was building an insurmountable lead. Write-in ballots had to be counted by hand and Rich’s concession quickened the pace of the count considerably.

Kelly said he was pleased with the outcome of the election.

“I certainly want to thank the citizens of Bonner County for giving me the opportunity to be their commissioner,” said Kelly.

Like Broadsword, Kelly said one of his top priorities will be to improve the harmony among officials and staff.

“That’s number one,” Kelly said of the priority.

A hotly-contested race for prosecutor appeared to work in the favor of incumbent Republican Louis Marshall. Marshall was unopposed in the primary, but faced independents Michael Waldrup and Tevis Hull in Tuesday’s general election.

Marshall finished the contest with 8,145 votes. Hull ended up with 4,866 votes and Waldrup finished with 3,887, which seemed to confirm pre-election speculation that the vote would split and allow Marshall to emerge victorious.

“I would just like to thank my supporters and am looking forward to serving a second term as prosecutor,” Marshall said.

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