Woodward, Scott build early leads

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SANDPOINT — Bonner County voters took to the polls Tuesday to decide on state legislative seats, county commission and assessor race, in addition to the hotly-contested Scotchman Peaks Wilderness advisory vote.

In an important race for the District 1 state senate seat Jim Woodward was leading the three-way race for the Republican nomination with 878 votes. Danielle Ahrens and Scott Herndon, who are also seeking the GOP nod, had 385 and 202 votes, respectively. The winner of that race will face Vera Gadman, a shoo-in for the Democratic party nod, in November’s general election.

In another closely-watched contest for the 1A state representative seat, incumbent Heather Scott and Mike Boeck were in a footrace for the Republican nomination. Boeck had 773 votes to Scott’s 892 votes as of 10:33 p.m. On the Democratic ticket for the 1A post, Ellen Weissman was building on a lead against Bob Vicaryous, with the former amassing 503 votes to the latter’s 42.

Incumbent Republican 1B Rep. Sage Dixon was unopposed for his party’s nomination, as was Stephen Howelett, a Democrat.

Voters were leaning in favor of the proposed Scotchman Peak designation. At last report, support for the designation was at 1,725 votes and opposition was at 1,594 votes.

In the race for the District 1 commissioner, incumbent Republican Glen Bailey had 976 votes, while Steven Bradshaw had 1,026 votes shortly after 10:30 p.m. Bruce Hollett was trailing with 107 votes. The winner of that contest faces Patricia Wentworth, a Democrat who did not have a primary challenger.

Meanwhile, in the District 3 commission race, former Ponderay Mayor Carol Kunzeman had 1,060 votes while incumbent Dan McDonald had 1,145 in the GOP primary. The winner of that contest advances to the general election, where they’ll go up against Steve Lockwood, a former Sandpoint councilman. Lockwood also had no primary challenger.

In a crowded race for the Republican Bonner County assessor nomination, longtime employee Donna Gow was pulling ahead with 1,032 votes. Primary challengers Dennis Engelhardt had 655 votes and Richard Miller had 532 votes. The winner of this race will compete with Democrat Shirley Kolm in the general.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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