Currie to run as write-in - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Currie to run as write-in

Commissioner says low voter turnout in May encouraged campaign

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Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Kootenai County Commissioner Rick Currie doesn't consider himself down and out yet.

After losing in May's primary elections, the third-term commissioner announced on Wednesday that he will be campaigning as a write-in candidate for the district 2 seat this November.

"I plan on going door to door," said Currie, 63, during a visit to The Press office. "We will be using everything at our disposal to get the message out."

The Coeur d'Alene Republican isn't discouraged by his May loss, he said, because of the low 22 percent voter turnout.

He pointed out that Jai Nelson won the district 2 primary with 36 percent of the vote, while Currie was just behind her with 32 percent.

"It was an extremely low turnout," he said. "Nobody got anywhere near 40 percent of the vote."

The idea to campaign as a write-in festered a week after the primary elections during a business trip to Twin Falls, he said.

"At night, you're in a motel room by yourself, and you have a lot of time to think," he said.

"I didn't feel bad about losing. I've lost other things before. But I felt I had let the citizens of Kootenai County down."

Several of his fellow Republicans have also prodded him to conduct a write-in campaign, he added.

"It makes me pretty proud," he said.

Chris Fillios, the Republican candidate who came in third for the district 2 seat in May, said Currie will need a lot of energy.

"I think running as a write-in candidate is a challenge anywhere, but I do think if he has a shot, he has it here," Fillios said. "He has been in the position. He has been elected a couple of times."

Fillios said he had considered running as a write-in himself, but discarded the idea when he heard rumors of Currie's plan.

"Part of the issue was the expense of running again," he said. "When I heard Rick was doing it, it didn't make sense for three of us to run. For now I will stand back."

Jai Nelson could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

County Clerk Dan English couldn't remember a write-in candidate winning in Kootenai County before.

He pointed out that write-in candidates have a distinct disadvantage.

"Being a write-in, you really, really have to get your name out there, and educate the public on what it takes to have a write-in vote recorded," he said, adding that voters have to both fill in the oval for the district and spell the candidate's name in a phonetically recognizable way.

English said that county candidates have spent anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 on campaigns.

"You're going to be at a competitive disadvantage not having your name on there (on the ballot). I certainly think he (Currie) would be talking an excess of $10,000 to run," English predicted.

A write-in campaign has been pulled off before in North Idaho.

Mitch Alexander won the 2008 election for Shoshone County sheriff as a write-in.

Alexander was quoted in past Press articles that he wore out a pair of shoes going door to door in his campaign. He also carried absentee ballot forms to every home he visited.

Alexander could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

Currie admitted it might help his chances that he has been a commissioner since 2002.

"Obviously name recognition is extremely important," he said.

There are many county issues that still need work, he said, though he didn't specify which ones.

"I look forward to serving the citizens," Currie said. "I have a reputation for doing my research and getting my facts correct. I have a reputation for being open and honest, and that is extremely important in this position."

Nelson and Currie are currently the only candidates running for the district 2 seat.

"The residents of Kootenai County deserve a choice," Currie said.

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  • Linda C posted at 5:29 pm on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    Linda C Posts: 30

    Sounds like many of you have perused Rick's resume. Have you done the same with Jai's? Scrutiny anyone?

  • vanillagirl posted at 5:09 pm on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    vanillagirl Posts: 31

    Rick did very well in the private sector, he was an honest, caring salesman of TV's and appliances back in his Atlas Building Center days.

  • skeptic posted at 4:53 pm on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    skeptic Posts: 56

    A couple of quick facts for you:

    - Jai Nelson garnered about 4600 votes; each canidate - three - got over 4000 votes, so over 8000 people did not vote for Nelson. She does not have a mandate.
    - If you examine the Sunshine Report, you'll find that Nelson received $ 550 in in-kind contribution from The Press. Hardly an endorsement for Currie.

  • will-- posted at 9:26 am on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    will-- Posts: 1214

    Reminds me of the old SNL skit, "The thing that wouldn't leave".

  • Randy Myers posted at 8:39 am on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    Well just from a party standpoint Rick running will hurt the Republicans. I guess that helps the Dems ehh ? If Dan English is right about the cost for the campaign (and I am sure he is) then it seems it must be well worth it to Rick to spend that time and energy. I guess he likes being a commissioner. I admire anyoe who mounts a write in campaign. That said, I do think Rick is missing the message the voters sent.

  • Lucky Ducky posted at 8:20 am on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    Lucky Ducky Posts: 2

    Open and Honest - a heavy statement that requires his definition - fool the public. Sore loser who does not want to be a parts chaser any more and looking for a glory job that is beyond his capability. Special interest or groups that think like him is the ones he associates. He forgot he represents all and takes sides without assessing the facts and data.

  • straight up posted at 7:26 am on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    straight up Posts: 967

    WOW! This is the fastest decision this guy has ever made!

    I guess the terror of having to perform in our local crappy private sector can really energize a fella.

    Must be that all the sweetheart votes for the big developers did not result in a job offer...or else those same developers that he trashed the comprehensive plan for are supporting him ($$) in this folly because they do not like the thought of needing to break in a new commissioner.

  • Dan Gookin posted at 6:27 am on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 761

    "At night, you're in a motel room by yourself, and you have a lot of time to think," he said.

    Some of us figure out how the remote control works, and then we watch HBO.

  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 4:29 am on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    FLASH: The Hagadone Press, just as the mainstream media, attempts to interject its opinion into a political race!! How many people would have had ANY idea that Currie is running as a write-in candidate - without help from the Press? Wonder what quid pro quo that cost him. How many other write-in wannabes get free publicity from the Hagadone Press. This area threw him out for his lack of leadership. Take the hint Currie.

  • local res posted at 1:09 am on Thu, Sep 9, 2010.

    local res Posts: 1165

    Take a hint commisioner. We said no more business as usuall. It is time for you to find a job that is not government connected. WE SAID NO!!!!!!

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