Rich running as write-in

Print Article

SANDPOINT — Bonner County commissioner Lewis Rich is mounting a write-in campaign to retain his seat on the board.

Rich, a District 3 commissioner who lost the Republican nomination to Cary Kelly in the May primary, declared himself a write-in candidate for the Nov. 6 general election.

Kelly amassed 2,379 votes in the primary, edging incumbent Rich by a 359-vote margin. Kelly was unopposed in the general election until Rich declared himself a write-in candidate on Aug. 23.

Rich, 65, said he initially had no plans to stay in the contest after his defeat in the primary.

“It wasn’t something I was giving any thought to,” Rich said on Wednesday.

But Rich said constituents and supporters have repeatedly urged him to stay in the race. Moreover, Rich said he is irked by what he perceives as a too-cozy relationship between Commissioner Mike Nielsen, Sheriff Daryl Wheeler and Kelly, all three of whom have existing or former ties to law enforcement.

Exhibit A in Rich’s contention is the commission’s approval of wage increases for some non-sworn personnel at the sheriff’s office. Wheeler managed to implement the raises without increasing his budget, but the move did not sit well with other elected officials and department heads.

“The relationships that are forming are not healthy and they’re not fair,” said Rich.

During his primary campaign, Kelly downplayed connections with Wheeler and Nielsen. Kelly said he would not shy from decisions that run contrary to Wheeler’s wishes and rejected insinuations that Nielsen influenced his decision to run. Nielsen has also disputed influencing Kelly’s decision to run.

Rich’s renewed candidacy, meanwhile, must confront a windswept reality in the history of Bonner County politics. There has never been a successful write-in campaign for elected office in Bonner County, according to Clerk Marie Scott, the county’s elections chief.

Rich is undeterred, however. A political strategist he consulted with pointed out that the District 3 race lacks a Democratic candidate and a dyed-in-the-wool Tea Party candidate, which he believes will boost his chances of a successful write-in campaign.

In addition to support from the general public, Rich said members of the half-dozen boards he chairs have also urged him to stay in the hunt.

“They’re all encouraging me to do the same thing,” he said.

The last concerted write-in campaign occurred in 2006, when Commissioner Karl Dye tried unsuccessfully to regain the GOP nomination Rich clinched in the primary.

Print Article

Read More News

Water festival whets students’ appetite for learning

May 23, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee LACLEDE — Anyone who says girls don’t like bugs has never met Hannah Fisher or Bella Bailey. Like their fellow fifth-graders, the pair were practically jumping with excitement as they scooped bugs ...

Comments

Read More

STEaM Olympics heating up fun factor

May 23, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee PRIEST RIVER — Priest River Lamanna High School plans to show how STEaM lessons and skills learned at school are applicable for careers later in life through the school's first STEaM Olympics today. ...

Comments

Read More

Board OKs $600K grant for PL project

May 23, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The Idaho Water Resource Board on Friday approved $600,000 for the next phase of the Priest Lake Water Management Project — the design, engineering and permitting for improvements to the outlet dam s...

Comments

Read More

Downtown project kicking off today

May 23, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Another downtown project kicks off Wednesday, May 23, on Oak Street between Fourth and Sixth avenues, Sandpoint officials said Tuesday. Avista Utilities will begin work today to move th...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X