Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Hart, Brown book primary leads


August 9, 2018 | View PDF

John Hart posted a solid lead in the three-way race for district court judge, and Lisa Brown, Democratic challenger to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, edged the incumbent by 215 votes in Tuesday night's count of primary election ballots.

The count totaled 6,523 ballots, or about 29 percent of the 22,000-plus ballots that were mailed out to voters.

The count did not include the ballots which came into the elections office on the Aug. 7 election day.

Hart, who keyed his campaign on the Elect Judge Hart format, booked 2,468 votes in the primary return which will eliminate one of the three candidates for the the district court being vacated by Judge Doug Robinson at the end of the year.

Rob Rembert was the number-two finisher in the Tuesday night returns with 1,696 votes, and Dan LeBeau, was a close third with 1,640, 56 votes behind Rembert.

The close finish points to a countdown as more ballots are tabulated by the elections office.

The three-way race for the judge's seat was hotly contested over the summer months. Public disclosure reports filed last week show Rembert has spent $22,935 on the campaign, Hart $19,496, and LeBeau $11,436.

Democrat Lisa Brown bumped incumbent McMorris Rodgers with a 3,190 to 2,975 edge for the primary count of the Whitman County slice of the 5th Congressional District return. The ballot count for the U.S. seat included votes which went to three other candidates who identified themselves as Republicans on the ballot.

Brown's edge here compares with a slim 500-vote win posted by McMorris Rodgers in the early count in Spokane County.

Both Republican incumbents in the state representative race prevailed in the Tuesday count with Mary Dye getting 3,329 voters and second-round challenger Jenn Goulet of Pasco getting 3,000.

Joe Schmick of Colfax posted a slim lead over Democrat Matthew Sutherland of Pullman, 3,262 to 3,029.

In three contested races for county positions, all incumbents posted leads with incumbent Mark Clinton of Colfax and challenger Christina Nelson of Endicott posting the closest finish. Clinton had just a 12-vote lead, 2,327 to 2,315 in the first count.

Commissioner Michael Largent posted a 284-vote win over challenger John-Mark Mahnkey of Pullman, 1,685 to 1,401 for the position three seat.

Sandy Jamison of Garfield, Republican seeking the county auditor's seat, had the biggest edge of the three county races, 3,552 to 2,635, over Eric Fejeran of Pullman, county Democratic chairman. They are seeking the seat which will be vacated by the retirement of Eunice Coker at the end of the year.

Lamont and Rosalia fire districts both received more than percent 88 percent approval on their multi-year levy requests.

Garfield's street levy request received more than 69 percent approval.

St. John cemetery district received a split verdict, with more than 71 percent approval for a maintenance and operation levy, but 58 percent approval for a road-paving proposal.

Farmington voters returned a 55-plus percent approval for street maintenance, and only 43-plus percent for a levy to bolster the current expense fund. Both required 60 percent approval.

Model Home Furnishings, Lewiston

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