Cheney Free Press -



Election results show little party change


It would seem that when it comes to making changes in the status quo, West Plains, Spokane County and Eastern Washington 5th Congressional District voters are happy with the way things are.

In primary election results Tuesday night in races where there were more than two candidates, voters were still sticking with the standard Republican or Democrat preference. In the four-way race for 5th District congressional representative, incumbent Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers was comfortably on her way to November’s general election where she will face Democratic challenger Joe Pakootas.

McMorris Rodgers was carrying Spokane County with 49.20 percent of the vote, while Colville Tribal Federal Corporation CEO and businessman Pakootas was a comfortable second at 30.83 percent. District wide, McMorris was pulling in 55.31 percent, with Pakootas at 29.19 percent.

Founder and former president of Spokane’s Interface College Dave Wilson was running a distant third at 12.15 percent. Wilson, running as an independent, had positioned himself against McMorris Rodgers as the candidate to break the Washington D.C. gridlock. The fourth candidate in the race, political newcomer Tom Horn running as a more conservative Republican than McMorris Rodgers was at 7.73 percent.

More locally it appears Democrat and political newcomer Mary Lou Johnson will be moving on to November to face Republican incumbent Al French for the Spokane County Commissioner District 3 position. District 3 encompasses the southwest portion of the county, including the cities of Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Heights as well as parts of the city of Spokane’s South Hill.

French and Johnson were running virtually neck-and-neck Tuesday night, with the challenger holding a 26.100ths of a percent lead, 36.43 percent to 36.17 percent. Cheney resident and former county commissioner Bonnie Mager, running as an independent, trailed with 27.19 percent of the vote.

Only voters in District 3 cast ballots Tuesday night, whereas the November general election will be a county-wide process.

And in the only other county race of importance to West Plains voters, Democratic challenger Amy Biviano appeared headed to November where she will square off with Republican incumbent Rob Chase for county treasurer. The two were also virtually tied, 39.61 percent for Chase versus 39.34 percent for Bivianno, while Republican challenger Mary Kuney was running third with 20.83 percent of the vote.

In two-way races that likely reveal to candidates what they need to do or not do to get elected, Republican incumbents Kevin Parker, Jeff Holy and Michael Baumgartner were on their way to easy wins over Democratic challengers in the state 6th District legislative positions.

Parker led challenger Donald Dover 62.91 percent to 36.80 for state House Position 1, while Jeff Holy was garnering 94.10 percent of the vote against a write-in candidate.

Baumgartner was leading challenger Rich Cowan 57.07 percent to 42.77 in the race for 6th District State Senator.

Only 28.55 percent, 80,226, of the 280,048 ballots mailed out were cast Tuesday night. Voters had to either drop off ballots at drop off locations or mail ballots Tuesday in order to have them count in the primary.

John McCallum can be reached at


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